STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
JOHNSON CITY — Going through the discomfort of a simulated violent altercation might be the difference between life and death for women who come face to face with a real attacker.
The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, with help from a martial arts expert, will arm women with tactics to avoid such attacks and teach them how to fight to free themselves if they are in that situation.
“We put them in the position, and it’s eye-opening when they realize how effective the techniques are, even with a stronger attacker,” said Ray Weeks, a fourth-degree black belt who operates ASB Karate. “Some of the techniques that we do are very personal situations because we have perpetrators who will get between legs.
“I have several young ladies that have gone through my classes (all fourth-degree black belts) who will be assisting me (by simulating the role of an attacker),” he added.
The upcoming free seminar is 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 7, in the fellowship hall at First United Methodist Church,105 LBJ Drive.
Weeks, who operates private martial arts facilities at 112 E. Main St. in Johnson City and 2602 Commerce St. in Marble Falls, wanted to work with authorities on the seminar due to the dangers women could face.
“Our main motivation is awareness and keeping ladies safe, especially considering the dangers for young people going off to college and knowing how to deal with situations at a party or at a dorm,” he said. “Also, there’s a danger with internet predators coercing young ladies out to unsafe situations.”
The class is targeted toward female students ages 12 to adult.
“I can give young ladies some situational awareness training and technique training,” he said.
Martial arts can place women on a level playing field with a potential attacker, who might be physically stronger.
“Across the board, ladies are typically far better at martial arts, with more flexibility, attention to detail, and lower center of gravity,” Weeks said. “Martial arts techniques teach you how to manipulate joints and target pressure points.”
For more information, contact (512) 689-3330 or email@example.com.