DENVER — Women shouted commands, practiced throwing blows, and protecting themselves from potential threats. It was all part of a women’s self-defense course offed by the Denver Police Department.
On Saturday, more than two dozen women turned out for a free course at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center.
“It’s really teaching the ladies about prevention, about awareness. We also teach about some physical combative [techniques],” Denver police Department Sgt. Noel Ikeda said.
Ikeda has led the self-defense course for the last ten years and helped more than 5,000 women learn how to mentally prepare and protect themselves from threats.
Jennifer Offe bought her 9-year-old daughter Izabella Offe. She recounted the time her ex-husband physically assaulted her and felt helpless. A feeling she says she doesn’t want her daughter to experience.
“I felt helpless for a long time,” Offe said.
Her daughter says she came prepared to learn.
“How to defend myself in situations that I am not expecting and just to have more self-confidence when I’m around people I don’t know,” Izabella Offe said.
Kristine Mazzullo is now 52-years-old says. She remembers the fear she felt when she was 16-years-old.
“I had an experience where I was chased [by a stranger],” Mazzullo said.
Tameka Jackson attended the class to learn how to block and strike a person that may become a threat. She says she wants to teach her new skills to her family members so they can fend for themselves.
Denver Police Department
offers free self-defense classes monthly. The next one is February, for more details follow the Denver Police Department Facebook page.