Free women’s self-defense course offered


A participant in a previous women’s self-defense course at Gordon Martial Arts practices an elbow strike. (Crestview Police Department)

CRESTVIEW, Fla., Jan. 13, 2018–The Crestview Police Department is partnering with a local martial arts school to offer a women’s self-defense course here Jan. 27.

Gordon Martial Arts, in conjunction with the Crestview Police Department Community Services Division, will offer the free course 9-to-10:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at the academy’s 130 Oakdale Ave. W. location. Advance registration is not necessary.

“They do a really excellent program,” Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons said. “We’ve offered it before and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the women who participated.”

Topics include identifying and using a woman’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.

Grand Master Tom Gordon, owner of the studio, said his trained and certified female martial arts staff will instruct the course.

“The reason I love teaching this class so much is because it’s women empowering women,” GMA managing director and course instructor Amanda Howard said.

Gordon said his staff will also cover situations such as being choked, being grabbed from behind and being pushed to the ground.

“It’s always good to give back to the community that we love so much,” he said. “(Instructor) Greg Bledsoe and I started doing free women’s self-defense classes over 20 years ago.”

Gordon has turned the instruction over to Howard and Mary Valdez who will lead the class while he assists.

“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. It’s harder than it looks, by the way.”

Crestview Police Department release

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