Mayor Bloomberg may always be reminding us that New York is the ‘safest big city in the U.S.’, but it still has a lot of dark corners. So I thought it might not be a bad idea to learn some moves to protect myself – just in case.
CHKA in the East Village holds free self defense classes for women every Tuesday, so tonight I went along to check it out. And I learned a lot – mostly about just how little I know.
After a quick warm up, the six instructors led us through three moves – all designed to defend ourselves if someone grabbed us by both wrists. (The other girls told me they focus on a different type of attack every week.) The instructors started with quick moves where we twisted our wrists and hips to escape their grips, and finished with me pinning them to the ground with relative ease.
It was amazing to have six instructors between 10 of us in the class, not only for the attention but because it taught us how to tackle men of different sizes. They were led by Grandmaster Sifu Jack, an ex-Marine sniper who has been stabbed and shot 10 times, he explained. So it goes without saying that he had our full attention.
But as I practised the moves and slowly picked them up, I only became more scared. Scared at just how strong these men were without really trying, and scared about just how unprepared I really am for other types of attacks.
And when I got home, excited to show Dylan my moves, he laughed and picked me up as I tried in vain to twist his wrists.
Looks like I’ll be heading back next week.