POINT PLEASANT — In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, several entities are joining forces to provide women with the opportunity to take a free self-defense class.
The class will be held Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Hospital Wellness Center, for females ages 13 years and older. It is being sponsored by the GFWC Woman’s Club of Point Pleasant, GFWC Point Pleasant Junior Woman’s Club, Body Barn Fitness and Salon and Pleasant Valley Hospital.
Teaching the class will be Jennifer Bailey, a self-defense instructor with more than 30 years experience. Bailey, along with fiancè Eddie Starcher, are owners of the Body Barn Fitness and Salon.
Bailey said she will be presenting a basic version of self-defense, along with five main moves.
“In the basic version, I teach women to stun, incapacitate and run,” Bailey said.
The instructor stated she will also teach how to be aware of your surroundings, how to avoid getting into a dangerous situation, how to defend yourself against someone with a weapon, and how to defend against an attacker, whether it be a stranger, boyfriend or husband. She said there are little things that can help a woman in a potentially dangerous situation, such as having a phone in hand with 911 keyed in; having a key in the other hand to quickly unlock a vehicle door; and placing a key beside your bed to be able to hit the car alarm in case of a break-in.
Assisting Bailey will be B.J. Robinson, a fitness instructor and personal trainer at the Body Barn, as well as Jacob Starcher, a power lifter and Body Barn member.
Bailey said while this class will be a basic version, the three will also be demonstrating some advanced techniques. These techniques will be taught in a more comprehensive class that she is beginning at the Body Barn in late November or early December.
“I like doing anything that supports and promotes the well being of women and girls to give them self-confidence,” Bailey added.
She said those attending Monday’s class should wear comfortable clothing, such as sweatpants and sneakers. Women will be paired with each other and work on mats. There is no registration. Women can simply show up for the class at the given time.
While Bailey said the class is free, donations will be accepted. All money received will go to a local domestic violence shelter.
In addition, those attending will be eligible for a number of door prizes. They will include a 30-minute massage, given by Pleasant Valley Hospital, a hair color and style by the Body Barn Salon, a one-month membership with personalized instruction by the Body Barn Fitness center, and others.
“I believe if a woman looks good and feels good, she feels empowered,” Bailey concluded. “And that’s everything.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.