Teen girls learn to use a key natural instinct in a specialized self-defense class

Teenage girls taught to use “startle reflex” as a self-defense weapon

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Judo coach Aaron Sekulich tells teenagers a powerful tool to protect themselves is built into their bodies.

It’s the natural reaction to fear.

"It's a reaction where you flinch away from danger. It's built into us. We can't help it. Everybody has it," he said.

Sekulich teaches a self-defense method called SPEAR. It stands for Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response.

"It's harnessing the 'startle-flinch' response and using it as a protective mechanism, but also turning it into a weapon to protect yourself and keep danger away," he said.

During a five-day summer seminar at La Pietra School, Sekulich shows teenage girls how to defend against physical attacks by assuming a strong stance, using balance and techniques to keep an attacker at arm’s length.

"The stance of SPEAR recruits the strongest muscles in your body," he said.

Sekulich started teaching the course because he was troubled at the high rate of physical violence against women.

"By taking a class like this it instills confidence in young ladies," he said.

"Since I'm recently graduated I'm going to go off to college, I thought it would be good to have some kind of self-defense methods to protect myself," Emily Pham said.

Participants are also taught how to detect danger and how to diffuse a tense situation.

"It definitely would be valuable in case anybody wants to kidnap me or something. You never know," high-school student Evan Granato said.

Sekulich has taught the SPEAR technique to dozens of women and girls, but it can be used by anyone

“Some of the stuff is used in military training and police training. So it definitely could be good for boys and men as well,” he said.

Sekulich coaches wrestling and judo at Punahou School and teaches self-defense at Precision Grappling. He’s also a teacher at La Pietra.

To learn more about his class email him at asekulich@lapietra.edu.

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