Women learn to fight back in free self-defense class offered by Denver police

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Jan 11, 2020

DENVER — Women shouted commands, practiced throwing blows, and protecting themselves from potential threats. It was all part of a women’s self-defense course offed by the Denver Police Department.

On Saturday, more than two dozen women turned out for a free course at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center.

“It’s really teaching the ladies about prevention, about awareness. We also teach about some physical combative [techniques],” Denver police Department Sgt. Noel Ikeda said.

Ikeda has led the self-defense course for the last ten years and helped more than 5,000 women learn how to mentally prepare and protect themselves from threats.

Jennifer Offe bought her 9-year-old daughter Izabella Offe. She recounted the time her ex-husband physically assaulted her and felt helpless. A feeling she says she doesn’t want her daughter to experience.

“I felt helpless for a long time,” Offe said.

Her daughter says she came prepared to learn.

“How to defend myself in situations that I am not expecting and just to have more self-confidence when I’m around people I don’t know,” Izabella Offe said.

Kristine Mazzullo is now 52-years-old says. She remembers the fear she felt when she was 16-years-old.

“I had an experience where I was chased [by a stranger],” Mazzullo said.

Tameka Jackson attended the class to learn how to block and strike a person that may become a threat. She says she wants to teach her new skills to her family members so they can fend for themselves.

The Denver Police Department offers free self-defense classes monthly. The next one is February, for more details follow the Denver Police Department Facebook page.