EUGENE, Ore. -- A group of martial arts experts spent Saturday teaching women self defense techniques in response to the several assaults that happened near the Oregon State and University of Oregon campuses.
The David Leung martial arts academy in Eugene held a free women's self defense course.
The demonstration gave women hands-on training on a few techniques to fend off attackers as well as providing piece of mind.
Oregon State employee Maryna Serdani said that she has felt uneasy after hearing about the recent assaults near campus.
“It was really worrisome, because in Corvallis we don't really hear about that kind of thing,” said Serdani. “I thought it wouldn't be long before the police got the guy who did it and it hasn't happened yet.”
Professional martial arts trainer David Leung said he organized the free self defense course because he wanted to help potential victims stay safe. He said the amount of violence towards women is escalating.
“The satisfaction is not just to take your money, to hurt your body. The satisfaction is to hurt your mind and scar you for the rest of your life and that is totally unacceptable,” said Leung.
Women of all ages filled Leung’s gym in Eugene to take the free course. Eugene resident Asa Cleavenger said that the course will be helpful in her daily life.
“I ride my bike around town a lot and I find myself being a little nervous because there can be some people who look kinda scary,” Cleavenger said.
The course concentrated on teaching the students to be aware of their surroundings and how to use everyday objects like backpacks and magazines to fight back.
Instructor Pohkheng Loi the most difficult part of teaching the course is getting women to be aggressive enough to hit someone.
“They feel that it is wrong to hit somebody, even though somebody is hurting them and I want to change that mentality because everyone has the right to defend themselves,” said Loi.
Loi said that the other part of the course is giving women the self-confidence needed to use these techniques if they are put in a threatening situation.
After getting such a strong turnout at Saturday's course, the David Leung Martial Arts Academy said they will host another free women's self defense course on the second Saturday of May.