After his friend was robbed at gunpoint while leaving work, Matt Snider, an instructor of martial arts and self-defense, decided to host a self-defense workshop for women.
“Women are attacked every day across the world,” Snider said. “Just a small amount of knowledge can save your life.”
On Saturday, Snider will be teaching a class at Studio Exhale to help better prepare women in the community for dealing with dangerous situations.
“I truly hope women take away a simple philosophy that has been adopted by numerous martial arts teachers and ex-Navy SEALs, and that is: run, hide, fight,” Snider said. “If there is a chance, run. If you can find a secure location, hide. If you run out of options, fight.”
Currently, the workshop is sold out and has a waiting list, which has prompted Snider to hold two sets of classes Saturday. Snider is also looking to set up a weekly self-defense workshop.
Until then, however, Snider hopes to make a difference for the women who are signed up by teaching them various techniques such as striking, blocking and how to get away from an attacker.
Lisa Abner, a participant in the workshop, said she signed up for the class because she has felt unsafe in public places.
“I’m a small person and, like most women, I’ve been verbally harassed while performing normal day-to-day errands,” Abner said. “I’ve been catcalled, I’ve been threatened and I’ve been followed by suspicious vehicles.”
Abner has taken self-defense classes, which she said have allowed her to have more confidence, but she is also looking for a “different perspective” as well as a chance to refresh her self-defense skills.
“No one has taken my harasser aside and told him that his behavior is inappropriate and threatening,” Abner said. “No one, that is, except me. My safety is my responsibility because I’ve learned by experience that the only person that can protect me is me.”