Free self-defense class offered to Maricopa women, girls

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Lee Feiles, owner and chief master instructor at Sunrise Taekwondo, takes a hit from a senior participant during a self-defense class at his Maricopa studio on April 22, 2017. Feiles acts as the target during the classes, which he says helps him to ensure participants are performing techniques correctly. Photo courtesy of Sunrise Taekwondo.

For Lee Feiles, attitude, confidence and awareness are the key ingredients to staying safe when out and about.

Oh, and knowing exactly how and where to knee an intruder.

Those are the skills Feiles hopes women and girls gain from a free self-defense class at his Sunrise Taekwondo studio on March 25. The class is being hosted by Miss Scottsdale Teen Vianah Bradt and will be accepting monetary donations.

“Our biggest thing in regard to self-defense is really about attitude. We find that the more confident people are about who they are, the better decisions they make and the more likely they are to stay safe,” said Feiles, owner and chief master instructor at Sunrise Taekwondo, an ATA Martial Arts school. “We want them to feel like they’re strong, that’s the real goal about this class.”

He explained that during the 90-minute class, participants learn a combination of skills to keep themselves safe in any scenario. This includes learning how to look out for potentially dangerous situations, how to physically defend themselves with basic strikes and kicks, and how to escape when being physically held.

“It’s designed to give ladies a very quick introduction to self-defense procedures,” said Feiles, owner and chief master instructor at Sunrise Taekwondo, an ATA Martial Arts school. For him, it’s more than just learning how to hit and escape.

“Participants, they want to feel empowered. They want to feel like they can do something if they need to. They want to feel like they’re in charge of who they are and what’s going on around them,” Feiles said.

Women and girls with physical restrictions also are welcome to attend. Feiles said that in the past, he’s had participants who were pregnant or using a cane attend and learn how to protect themselves.

“If there’s anything you can’t do, watching is better than nothing,” he said.

While the class is being offered for free, participants are welcome to make donations to the Miss Arizona Princess program, a youth pageant that Feiles believes helps girls develop skills.

“They learn about personal development and growth and education,” Feiles said. “They have scholarship opportunities and it’s a great way to get young girls empowered and to find out who they are.”

Details: The self-defense class will be hosted Saturday, March 25, at 2 p.m. at Sunrise Taekwondo, 44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 103. For more details visit their Facebook page.