Your Life, Your Health: Martial arts for health and self defense
When it comes to defending yourself, usually size and strength are what matters. Well, watching only a few minutes of jiu jitsu may make you think differently. In recent years there has been a spike in the number of women taking classes in this style of martial arts - not only to get fit, but better protect themselves in case of an attack. Danielle Walter of Mayfield is one of those women.
"I may not be out there kicking everyone's butt MMA style - but if someone was going to attack me, I'm going to walk away from it." She says.
Walter took her first Jiu Jitsu class at Spa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Ballston Spa two years ago. Since then she has lost 50 pounds, has renewed self-confidence, and can easily take down guys twice her size. When she first started there weren't many women in the classes; she says that's now changing.
"We're starting to see a huge increase. We have a packed mat here on Tuesday nights with women learning self-defense." Walter says.
Eddie Fyvie is a well-known martial arts instructor in the Capital Region. He's been practicing almost his entire life and is the owner of Spa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which just wrapped up an 8-week women's course on self-defense.
"Most women don't think there's even the possibility they could flip someone over." He says. "Jiu jitsu sort of levels the playing field."
Fyvie explains how using things like leverage and certain angles can triumph over strength and speed.
"A woman that comes in here to do jiu jitsu is going to get a good workout. But hopefully we can inspire them to do other things on their own to help them not just save themselves, but also change their lifestyle." He says.
According to a 2010 report by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence survey, 1 in 5 women have been raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Walter tells me with confidence that what she's learning right now will stop her from becoming part of that statistic.
"There are things you can do long before anyone puts a hand on you. But if they do attack me and don't run away when I start screaming, I know what to do if they put their hands on me."
Interested in jiu jitsu? Spa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is offering 8-week self-defense classes for women. March is sold out - but there's also one in April. Information can be found at the following link:
Also, check out Core Fit in Mayfield, NY http://www.corefitmayfield.com/