Women's only self-defense teaches empowering skills

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- Taking back their power and learning how to stand up for themselves. That was the name of the game at a woman’s only guided self-defense and Brazilian Jujitsu class on Saturday afternoon.

Tag teaming with purple belt Lori Lapaz, the free course teaches everything from defensive holds and escape moves. Open to all skill levels, the class is designed to give participants the tools they need to feel strong and in command of their environment.

"We're saying, regardless of somebody's size or athleticism, we want our techniques to be effective, so if somebody's too small and their punches might not be effective against that stronger attacker, we still want them to have a great chance of success when defending themselves," said organizer Darby Haanpaa.