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How local women runners can learn self-defense techniques for free

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. - A group of local non-profits partnered to put on a week's worth of free self-defense classes for local women runners. The classes come as reports of cases of women being attacked while exercising continue nationwide.

The 90-minute sessions include instruction on basic runner safety awareness and hands-on self-defense training, including how to escape grabs, holds, and chokes.

"Unfortunately these days it is a necessity. It's not a right anymore," said Kayla, a second-degree martial arts black belt who will teach portions of the self-defense lessons.  "It's all about technique. It's not about size. Anybody can do it no matter size, physical strength, anything like that."

The Richmond Road Runners Club, The Women's Self Defense Network, and Defend Yourself Virginia organized the classes, which will begin at 7 p.m. each day next week. Each class will be held at the Tactical Martial Arts Academy
at 9828 Midlothian Turnpike.

"I think it's important to know how to protect yourself when you are out there," said local runner Dinah Foreman, who signed up for the classes with her teenage daughter.  "There is only so much you can do as far as having pepper spray and things like that. But this is just an extra step to make me safer when I run or when my daughter runs."

"Every woman has the right to feel safe or comfortable in their environment," said instructor Kayla.

For more information on how to sign up for these free classes, click here.