Recent string of sexual assault attacks in Arlington show importance self-defense classes

- Police in Arlington County are investigating another report of a sexual assault. This latest incident happened early Saturday morning along the 1800 block of N. Scott Street.

The 23-year-old female victim told police she was followed home, pushed to the ground by a male suspect who claimed he had a knife and then inappropriately touched by him.

It is an all-too-common situation that is leading some women to take up self-defense classes.

The recent attacks are a reminder for some women that self-defense is a necessary skill. In fact, some martial arts schools have seen a growing demand for those classes over the years.

The moves may not look deadly at first glance, but this group at NovaMMA CrossFit Arlington is learning techniques that could potentially save their lives.

The class is called Krav Maga, a self-defense system that the owner of NovaMMA says they have seen a demand for over the past few years.

“You don't want to wait until the last minute when something happens and you're not prepared, you're not ready,” said owner Chau Bui. “I think being self-aware is very important.”

Marina McDowell started taking the class a few months ago so she could defend herself in a dangerous situation.

“I feel like it could become second nature at this point,” she said. “I definitely do feel more confident. That's for sure.”

The confidence comes from knowing what to do if you are attacked. Some people may freeze and not know what to do unless they have been trained.

Instructor Derek sierra explained that regaining your balance during an attack is crucial.

They say knowing a couple moves is better than nothing and practice breeds confidence.

“It's like practice,” said Bui. “Your body just gets used to those movements, so if you get attacked, it kind of comes natural to you of what you need to do, which helps versus someone who just comes once in a blue moon and they’re going to forget what they learned three months ago.”

Because of the recent sexual assaults and attacks in Arlington, the school is offering a free self-defense seminar on Wednesday, October 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information about the free seminar, go to www.novamma.com.

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