As a female, one of the things I am always concerned with is personal safety and security. It is not always easy to blend in as a six-foot tall woman – especially in a country like Panama. So when I heard about a self-defense class that was being held twice a week at Bahia Resort in Gorgona, I knew it was a good idea for me to check it out.
The instructor, Richard Hamilton, is a 6th degree Taekwondo expert and certified Krav Maga instructor. Krav Maga is a non-competitive tactical self-defense system developed in Israel, which combines a variety of martial arts techniques. The system was actually derived from street-fighting skills, and is therefore extremely useful for defending yourself in real-life situations.
The elements of the class focused on how to defend oneself in a variety of situations: what do if you’re getting choked, grabbed from behind, or hit. From blocks to punches and kicks, we all practiced diligently with each other. We learned how to target vulnerable parts of our opponent’s body, such as the groin, eyes, knees and fingers.
Denise practices a technique with the instructor, Richard
Richard explains how to defend against a choke
Self-defense is a powerful tool, no matter who or where you are. Having even a little knowledge of some basic moves is empowering! Richard also stressed the importance of practicing the moves we learned, as you never know when you will need them. You want them to become a reaction to a threat rather than something you have to think about.
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