It’s no secret that assault is an ongoing problem that all women have to deal with – and a terrifying one at that. Luckily, the instructors and martial arts experts at Gordon Martial Arts (GMA) in Crestview, Florida recognize that and insist on helping. Owner and operator Chief Master Tom Gordon sees the importance of teaching women and children the techniques that give them the ability to defend themselves, educating them on how to avoid potentially harmful situations. Gordon Martial Arts is partnering with the Crestview Police Department Community Services division to offer a series of free women’s self-defense courses covering a wide array of self-defense methods.
Gordon Martial Arts offers instructional classes that will include: identifying and using women’s natural weapons, identifying targets on a male assailant, how to listen to the inner voice and identify signs of an impending attack, how to defend oneself in an attack, and how to be more proactive and in control in an attack situation.
Gordon says his staff will also cover common assault situations such as being choked, being grabbed from behind, and being pushed to the ground. “The main thing we teach is to be more aware of your situation,” Gordon said. “Whether this means not parking in dark areas, paying attention to what’s going on around you and not being distracted or how to get away from situations altogether.”
“They do a really excellent program,” said CPD Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons. “We’ve offered it before and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the women who participated.”
Aside from defense in the moment, the classes can help victims of crime or bullying overcome psychological damage and give back a sense of personal security. “Once an assailant is gone, the damage goes real deep, real fast,” said Gordon. “We want to give people a sense of empowerment.”
The classes are offered about four times per year and GMA has seen a mix of attendees. “I’ll have girls aged 12, 13, 14 years and women up to their seventies,” Gordon said. Each class has about 20-25 people in attendance but classes have been held with as many as 50 attendees before. Women are encouraged to attend multiple classes as a way to constantly practice and refine their skills.
“They can communicate directly to women in terms they understand best,” Gordon said. “I’m just there to play the attacker and take the falls.”
Gordon says his trained and certified female martial arts staff will instruct the course. Instructors include GMA managing director and martial arts expert Amanda Howard. “The reason I love teaching this class so much is because it’s women empowering women,” she said.
The instructors at Gordon Martial Arts teach and train around the world in places such as Korea, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Scotland, England, Holland, and all throughout the United States. In addition to their free self-defense classes for women, they also hold quarterly fundraisers for local charities and partner with Crestview Police Department and Okaloosa Sheriff Department to do free Child Safety/Bully classes.
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