Metro decided it was wise to enroll in a self-defense class, especially since a sexual predator who has attacked as many as 10 women remains on the loose in Park Slope and Sunset Park.
In the wake of the attacks, in which a man grabs women from behind, gyms and community centers now offer free defense lessons. CrossFit718, in South Slope, normally charges $75 for four classes, but the two dozen women there Wednesday night learned how to protect themselves for free.
Class was taught by instructor Ariel Yarden, who trained in hand-to-hand combat in Spain, Mexico and Israel — and has the stab scars to prove it.
Yarden cautioned women that if a mugger wants your purse, better to give it up than risk your life. But do fight back if he tries to take you somewhere, he said; at a second location, you’re much more likely to be killed.
Learn the moves
Move No. 1: What if someone puts you in a chokehold?
The instinct is to freeze, he said, but don’t do that. Instead, you should grab the predator’s arm, crouch down and move your hips back to create space for yourself. Then, “like a Tasmanian devil,” whack him in the crotch. Even if you don’t make contact, he’ll move back and you can spin out of the hold.
Move No. 2: What if someone puts a knife to your throat?
With a knife, it’s trickier, Yarden said; fighting back means you risk getting cut. This time, grab the man’s arm with your hands, crouch and move your hips back again. Sink far down, so all your weight is against his arm. Again, whack your arm down into his groin, and spin out.
Move No. 3: What if you’re attacked at gunpoint?
The gun will go off, Yarden warned — just accept that. Put your hands, palms facing you, in front of your face, he said. Swivel, and push the gun behind you. If you’re lucky, he said, the gun will be facing the predator as it goes off.