Wellness Wednesday: Self-defense seminar today

May 14, 2014

Image with caption: A self-defense seminar is set for today at noon. (Photo courtesy 88 Tactical)

A self-defense seminar is set for today at noon. (Photo courtesy 88 Tactical)

Staff members at the Olson Center for Women's Health are throwing some unexpected punches during Women's Health Week.

Today, Shawn Whittington and Jeff Hunter of Tactical 88 will be instructing participants on how to defend themselves from anyone of physical threat using hand positioning, kicks and strikes. The demonstration today at noon will include some of the elements from their classes, giving volunteers a chance to step into the ring.

"The strategies and responses taught by Tactical 88 can be utilized on a moment's notice and are often life-saving," said Christin McDermott, Olson Center for Women's Health.

Whittington has been working in the EMS/fire industry since 1991 and has been a firearms and self-defense instructor at a local indoor range for more than a decade. His experience, coupled with Hunter's past roles in law enforcement, helped frame the curriculum for their self-defense classes.

"Our goal this year is to cover all aspects of empowering women to make their health and safety a priority," said Marcia Wattjes, clinic manager.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nearly one in five women and one in 71 men in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives and nearly one in two women and one in five men have experienced other forms of sexual violence victimization in their lifetime.

The Olson Center cares for women from adolescence to adulthood with comprehensive wellness services that include community education. By providing a self-defense class, the clinic is giving patients and staff an opportunity to learn ways to stop sexual assaults before they happen.

"Community education at the Olson Center for Women's Health holds a place in our mission statement, but most importantly, in the hearts of its dedicated practitioners," McDermott said.

To learn more about Women's Health Week, click here.

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