Safer Naper Provides Self-Defense Workshop

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A self-defense class to encourage back to school safety seemed like a perfect fit for this month’s Safer Naper with the same focus.

“I’m 18, I’m going off to college and even though I’m going to be commuting to college, these next four years are a really big turning point in my life. Mom and dad aren’t going to be there all the time, there’s going to be new experiences in college, new jobs, new people. So I’ve always been aware of my surroundings but I’ve never taken a self-defense class. So that was just a no brainer for me to take it,” explained Kendall Xavadovics, a student in the workshop.

The Naperville Police Department brought in One Light Self-Defense for a workshop to teach basic defensive techniques to young women, and they’re lessons that pack a punch.

“Most of the martial arts, especially in the United States, are sports and not really self-defense,” said Tarne Mixson, a co-founder and instructor at One Light. “So it’s taken different philosophies and body movement concepts from different arts and combining them for this release and run technique. Our goal is to prepare people to avoid, face, or heal from physical violence.”

Aside from techniques getting out of an arm grab or a hair pull, the workshop also teaches safety awareness. Some of those tips: always walk in well lit areas and with friends especially at night, walking different routes to and from class to avoid a predicable schedule, and being aware of your surroundings.

“We’re mostly polite people and we hold doors for people but on a campus, especially dorms or apartments, are secure for a reason,” added Mixson. “Give up being polite and holding the door for the person behind you. If they aren’t suppose to be in that building they need to contact the person they’re visiting or find another way to enter.”

One Light Self-Defense offers these workshops free of charge and if you’d like to set one up, you can check out their website.

“I would recommend a self defense class to anyone,” added Xavadovics. “I think it’s important that everyone, no matter what their age, their gender, their race, that they should at least have some way to defend themselves.”

The Naperville Police Department will continue to promote back to school safety throughout the month of August, on their website and social media pages.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.