Women’s Empowerment Self-Defense Academy offers skills and support

Women looking to strengthen their bodies and souls have to look no further then the Women’s Empowerment Self Defense Academy in Morris Park.

Founded in 1981 by Linda Ramzy, a 7th degree black belt in Fuji Ryu Jujitsu who taught Women’s Empowerment Self Defense at Princeton for 10 years, the non-profit’s organization has been operating out of 1626 Bronxdale Avenue.

The goal and focus of WESDA is not to teach high-level martial arts, but rather to train women in simple techniques, both psychological and physical, to avoid being victimized again or falling into a situation where one can become victimized.

“We show women what they should or should not be doing, teach them and give them the tools and skill necessary to prevent women from getting back into the same situation and prevent them from being victims,” said Ramzy.

Focusing on all aspects, the academy offers open discussions on various topics, such as rape, to help women gain knowledge on important issues.

WESDA works with children as young as five years old to begin teaching them safety in the street and to recognize signs of abuse or if someone is touching them or treating them inappropriately.

Continuing with prevention at a young age, the organization also works with teenagers about teenage dating violence and abuse.

“It helps to talk to young girls because this appears to be a continuous cycle and our objective is to stop, break, or end that cycle of violent crimes against women,” said Ramzy.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October, the organization held domestic violence marathon workshops, which just successful completed.

“We teach simple and basic techniques that are extremely effective,” said Ramzy.

According to Ramzy, one of the simplest techniques for recognizing an abusive relationship is if the partner seems controlling, such as asking to you to stay away from friends. In a physical confrontation, an easy way to escape from being strangled is to grab the skin under the attacker’s arm.

“We teach how to be aware of one’s surrounding and to use physical defense only as a last resort when out of all other options. If there’s no other choice, they will know what to do in a physical confrontation,” said Ramzy. “You can come here for two hours and just take in a lecture and I guarantee you, you will feel empowered.”

Workshops are free for all victims, but prices range for all others wishing to enroll. Workshops are offered on various days and hours. For information contact 917 716-7673 or stop by the office. The WESDA expects to be switching locations to E. Tremont Avenue after the holidays.

Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or amarinaccio@cnglocal.com

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