INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 07, 2012, 10:21 PM

Self-defense classes teach preparedness, awareness

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With the weather heating up, more people will be out walking around on warm summer nights. Whether it's after dinner or a night on the town, there is no way of knowing you will make it home safe.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - With the weather heating up, more people will be out walking around on warm summer nights. Whether it's after dinner or a night on the town, there is no way of knowing you will make it home safe.

On a dark street you never truly know what could be lurking around any corner. Someone could jump out at any time and you would never know it. Now for male or female, the best way to make sure you can get away from a potential attacker is to be prepared.

Kelsy Johnson - Moorhead: “Not knowing what to do is the worst thing that could happen, because you just go into shock.”

Twenty-two year-old Kelsy Johnson may look small, but don't be fooled by her size. She trains here at the Fargo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy to make sure she is prepared for any situation.

Kelsy Johnson: “Our primary objective is to get away. Now if I tried to punch somebody I probably couldn't do a knockout punch, and then you know beat them to crap, it wouldn’t work, I am a small person I know that, but I know enough that I could defend punches and things like that.”

Johnson was once grabbed by the arm by someone. She says she instantly went into shock and froze. Since coming to classes like this one Johnson feels more confident and knows she wouldn't have that same experience.

Kelsy Johnson: “Things have changed a lot more now, now that I train every day. Those kinds of things don't faze me, but it is something that you really have to be confident about, something you have to practice quite a bit.”

Kicking, punching, and techniques to get away aren't the only things taught at these self-defense classes. Owner Professor George Andersch says teaching people to be aware of their surroundings may be one of the most important parts.

Professor George Andersch – Fargo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy: “They are texting, they don't see people coming up to them, just being aware of what's going on around you would deal with 90% of the problem.”

Professor Andersch says Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may sound scary to some, but everyone and anyone can train. It teaches a grappling technique with more of a wrestling style.

George Andersch: “It is all positional, and it is realistic, it is what would happen if a real confrontation happens.”

Johnson and Professor Andersch agree that a simple seminar won't prepare you physically for a potential attack. They say it takes dedication and skill to be ready for a situation that we all hope never happens.

Kelsy Johnson: “It is something that you really have to be confident about, something you have to practice quite a bit, being in the mindset of self-defense every single day.”

Some more things to do to stay safe are to never walk anywhere alone, try to stay away from dark alleys or walkways, and don't walk in places you are unfamiliar with.

Tags: