By McKenna MIDDLETON, intern
Every two minutes a woman is sexually assaulted, according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. A statistic like this makes it likely that most people know someone who has been a victim of an attack. It also makes it imperative that every woman has some degree of knowledge of self-defense. This is the vision behind Nelson Nio’s SHIELD Women’s Self Defense System.
Nio created the self-defense course specifically for women to prepare them in the event of an attempted sexual assault. He created the plan after a friend was attacked and asked him to teach her how to fight off future aggressors. Nio is highly trained in a variety of martial arts and teaches his class to members of women’s shelters, community centers and private organizations.
The Glendale Commission on the Status of Women arranged for Nio to teach self-defense for free to the general public on two occasions. The first class was held in the community room of the Glendale Police Station on the evening of Wednesday, June 11. The next is scheduled for Wednesday, June 25 in the Student Center Conference Room at Glendale Community College from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In his class, Nio addressed every possible situation one might face in the event of an attempted assault. From being grabbed from behind to being held at gunpoint, Nio presented class participants with strategies to fight off attackers – many who are much larger.
Nio taught the women how to use their body as a weapon, honing in on technique rather than brute force. He explained that often people literally become frozen with fear because their body has no idea what to do in the event of an attack. The goal of Nio’s in-depth training is to eliminate this reaction and give the brain access to possible life-saving responses, preparing the women mentally and physically.
“You can’t just struggle and get away,” Nio explained. “When you fight, you are fighting for your life and when you fight for your life, you use everything you have.”