Self-defense workshops boost confidence and safety

Self-defense workshops boost confidence and safety

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Self-defense training is a fitness activity that will never go out of style.

Ashlynn Grace Toler is just 10 years old, but she's learning how to pack a punch.

"If someone is attacking me, you just roll back and guard yourself, by getting up and holding your hand up," she said.

On Saturday, she participated in her first women's self-defense class at American Martial Art Academy in D'Iberville. More than 20 women participated in the workshop.

"My mom thought it would be a good exercise and a great information to know, and it turns out I love this class," Toler said.

The class teaches women techniques they can use in real life situations if they're attacked, and gives them a way to fight back.

Techniques Jessica Delorey hopes her daughter can use if needed, once she's on her own at college.

"I will confident that when she goes, she will be able to defend herself and be okay, because that's a mother's worry," said Delorey.

Instructor Jim Fiore said the tactics are easy to recall and remember during an attack.

"If we can give them the knowledge to make sure that they're not a victim, that they can weather the storm and be victorious, and not allow somebody to take advantage of them or abuse them or attack them, that's going to make me feel better," Fiore said.

Though it is called a self defense class, what's happening on the mat is actually considered self-offense.

"Self defense is what we're doing all the time. Not talking on your cell phone, walking through a parking lot, especially if its dark," said Simona Pierantoni.

"Offense is what actually happens when someone is attacking you. What are you doing to prevent them from hurting you?"

All of this is information Ashlynn Grace said could come in handy.

"I would tell my friends, who are girls, that they should take this class, because its a lot of fun and they can learn how to protect themselves in the future," she said.

The next women's self defense class is Saturday, Feb. 24. The class is free. Registration is available here.

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