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Week 1 Self Defense Course at Degerberg

Hi to all participants.  I hope you enjoyed the first class of the 6 week self defense course held at the Degerberg Academy.   Here are a few of the key points that we covered.

1) Fighting Stance:  snap kick to the groin, finger jab to the eyes or throat, palm strike to the nose or chin, cupped hand slap to the ear or jaw, and knee to the groin, pubic bone or bladder.  When practicing these techniques it is important to visualize doing them to an attacker.

2) Spacing:  How close do you want to let a stranger get before you move away?  This can vary depending on the circumstances, but keep in mind that the more space you have, the more time you have to react to a possible attack.

3) Closing the distance: If someone gives you a bad feeling as they pass you remember to keep moving while you continue to glance over your shoulder. It doesn’t take long to cover 30 feet.  They can be on you in just seconds, so before you turn around make sure they are at least half a block away.

4) Looking potential attackers in the eye: This is recommended, but not everyone can do it without a lot of practice, and there is the possibility that they will lock eyes with you and use it as a reason to approach you.  If it is a problem for you then look at their chin or throat.  They will still feel as though you are watching them, but without giving them a reason to approach you.

5) When practicing the striking techniques in combination for speed it is very important that you not stop to correct a mistake.  Get in the habit of finishing the series.  You can always go back and do it slowly and correct your mistakes.  It is OK to vary the combination.

I would like to suggest a couple of books:  “The Survivors Club” by Ben Sherwood and “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker

Ed Kress
For over 35 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. Along with local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed has developed a program which focuses on teaching personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains as well as their bodies. Ed began his martial arts career when he started wrestling in 8th grade, taking 1st place in the Chicago Park District City Championships. He later wrestled varsity at Mendel Catholic High School where he was a Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion. During his college career at North Park University he was a Conference Champion and 2-time NCAA Div 3 national qualifier. He was on his way to qualifying for the 3rd time when a neck injury ended his college career. His record that year was 17 - 0. He continues to wrestle as Head Freshman Wrestling Coach at Loyola Academy. A position he has held since 2004.

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