Self Defense Class Teaches Women to Protect Themselves

Charlyn Ishihara
Charlyn Ishihara

NUUANU (KHNL) -- The average woman who gets assaulted in Hawaii is between 18 to 26 years old.

That's according to self-defense experts.

So how do you best protect yourself? This is one way to get out of a choke. Women will learn many ways to escape in this class.

Most attacks on women are happening in the home. The statistics vary from 70-80%," said professor Steve Mclaughlin.

Teacher Steve Mc Laughlin is a Judo and Jujitsu black belt. But he says the moves he's teaching women are based on common sense.

Mc Laughlin keeps it so easy, even an 11-year-old can use it. This mother and daughter team say they're glad they came.

"I'm doing it with my 11-year-old and she can get out of my hold, here I think I'm really strong compared to her. I guess it work really easy," said Charlyn Ishihara, a self defense course student.

It's a confidence builder that Carly can throw off a grown man.

"It's teaching me I don't need to be afraid and if they attack me, I can prevent it."

"The class is really simple so I'd recommend it to anybody who wants safety."

"Most women want to fight back, according to statistics. They just don't know how, Mc Laughlin said.  "The course covers a range of situations including how to get out of a chokehold."

He also teaches what to do if you're being stalked, or if someone grabs your hair.

"If you know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen, you have a good chance of getting out of it.

Mclaughlin's tips on how to avoid trouble?

1. Prevention. Contrary to popular belief the best self defense is done without fighting.

2. Avoidance. Sounds simple but many women walk into harms way without looking twice.

3. Escape. When in doubt - get out.

4. Intuition. Follow your gut instincts - they are always right.

5. Educate yourself in personal safety. Learn to protect your self from yourself before you try to defend yourself from someone else.

Mc Laughlin holds the class when he has a minimum of 12 students.

A post script from Diane:

I've gotten so many questions about the story after it aired, that I thought it might be easier for me to post this on the web. I found the clinic on a Google search and I had no ties to it or anyone in it before I went, so this is an unbiased review.

Yes, I think the course is helpful. The techniques are simple, and only take a bit of leverage and grip. It's also interesting to experience "attacking" another person. Most people don't ever have to do that. I never have! It takes time to get used to breaking peoples' personal bubble, invading their space. It is also surprising to actually feel the effort needed to physically assault or escape from a grip.

The most helpful thing was learning to alter my perspective to be more security conscious. For instance, he teaches us a safer way to get in and out of a car. That is something I never would have thought about before.

There really are way too many things in this 4 hour course to write in a news story, and I think I would be doing you a disservice if I tried to explain in words how to do the maneuvers. This is something you need to practice at least a couple times to get a feel for it.

The teacher is good; thorough in his explanation, and encouraging in his attitude. He makes you feel you can do it! He brings in assistants from the martial arts studio that he runs, so there is a good student to teacher ratio.

He holds the classes on a Sunday. He needs a minimum of 12 to make it worth his while. You might consider getting your coworkers together or signing up as a big group to secure a date you want. The day I went, it was all social workers from one firm, and their boss sent them out and paid for it. I guess they often deal with unsavory types in their work, so he wanted to keep them safe.

If the price seems high for you, my advice to you would still be: just pay it. It will be the cheapest safety insurance you can buy. When my daughter is old enough I'll be sending her there.

I hope you find this helpful, and once again, this is only my opinion.