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Self-defense classes are provided at no cost by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield



Little Rock, Arkansas – It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a set of skills up your sleeve that you can use to fend off an aggressor in light of the fact that violence keeps permeating the state and the rest of the country.

On May 20, at 9 a.m., Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield will provide the community with cost-free opportunities to participate in Karv Maga self-defense workshops in both Fort Smith and Little Rock.

Karv Maga is an Israeli martial art that was originally designed for use by the Israeli military. It has an emphasis on practical applications and effectiveness. Participants in the workshops will learn how to improve their situational awareness as well as fundamental skills for self-defense that can be applied in everyday settings.

One of the instructors for the self-defense workshops, Devin Shirley, claims that he first began training in 2001 because he knew people who had been victims of attacks.

“Something in me said I really need to learn to take care of myself and my loved ones,” Shirley said.

The objective here is not to make oneself into a more dangerous person; rather, it is to make oneself into a more secure person.

Shirley believes that learning a few basic self-defense moves can help you feel more confident in yourself, improve your physical health, and provide you with more mental and emotional ease as you move through life.

The classes were held at the Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield location in 2022. Shirley claims that it is a rewarding experience for her since it demonstrates that they are providing a valuable service when former students come back for additional instruction.

“But more importantly, it’s hearing the stories where people have actually applied it and have come out of potentially dangerous situations,” Shirley said.

The website reports that the state of Arkansas has the highest rate of violent crime in the United States (7.1 per 1,000 inhabitants) and the fifth-highest rate of property crime (26.5).

Training in Brazilian jujitsu takes place on a daily basis at Westside MMA in Little Rock.

Jenna Deatherage, a practitioner of mixed martial arts, has stated that she began training in combat sports at the age of seven for the same reason as Shirley did.

“It’s very beautiful to be able to protect yourself and the ones you love,” Deatherage said.

She places a lot of emphasis on the fact that learning how to protect yourself does not require you to be a trained fighter.

“You’re never too old. You are never too young. There is never a bad time to start training,” Deatherage said.

You won’t just improve your talents; you’ll also develop a stronger feeling of self-confidence, which, according to Shirley, will make you less of a target. According to him, assaulters will typically target someone they believe to be weaker.

The Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield are currently accepting new students for their free community self-defense workshops, which are currently open for registration.

Both the ArkansasBlue Welcome Center at 416 S. University in Little Rock and the ArkansasBlue Welcome Center at 3501 Old Greenwood Road in Fort Smith will be hosting the event.

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