Free martial arts self-defense class for women to be held Friday

By Natalie Covher

Learning how to defend yourself now can make a difference later. Craig Sylvia and Efrain Padilla of Gracie United are teaching a women’s self-defense seminar Friday, July 15 from 6-8 p.m. at Warehouse Fitness, located at 400 College Avenue. The seminar will teach women ages 15 and up how to use martial arts as a means of self-defense.

“All martial arts are self-defense,” said Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Craig Sylvia. “It is important for women nowadays, with the society we live in, to know how to defend themselves. Martial arts date back centuries, it’s proven to work and it still does. Learning techniques can boost your skill set, confidence and self-esteem. I’ve heard stories of young women who have martial arts training that have been targeted. They got into the martial arts stance and let out a yell and the potential assailant left them alone. I’m offering this class because not everyone has the opportunity to train in martial arts and I want to present the women of the community with that opportunity.”

Instructors with experience will teach the class. Sylvia is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt and a judo orange belt and Padilla is a shisei ryu second-degree black belt, judo black belt and Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt.

Women are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes. Donations will be accepted. Proceeds will be donated to the Women’s Resource Center of Natchitoches. Sylvia is working to establish a series of free seminars for the community. For more information call 318-452-7345.

“You don’t have to bring a thing but an open mind and a cheerful heart.”

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