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October 18, 2015 7:58 am

Terror Attacks Have Jerusalem Residents Learning Self-Defense

avatar by Jonathan Benedek / Tazpit News Agency

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A self-defense class being taught in Jerusalem. Photo: Tazpit.

A self-defense class being taught in Jerusalem. Photo: Tazpit.

The current wave of terrorist stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and elsewhere has left many Israelis on edge. In light of the current security situation, the Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Jerusalem has started to offer Jerusalem residents the opportunity to learn self-defense techniques for fending off potential stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists.

“One of the residents of the Nachlaot neighborhood [in Jerusalem’s city center] wanted to organize a self-defense training session, and I took the initiative… since I have an academy of self-defense here in Jerusalem,” said Roi Walther, head instructor of the Royce Gracie Academy.

Aharon Darmon, the Nachlaot resident who spearheaded the training effort spoke with Tazpit about the uncertainty that many of his friends are feeling. “I was so worried about the situation that I decided to organize an event… [so people could learn] how to deal with knife attacks.”

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“Along with showing various self-defense techniques, we also spoke about the psychological aspects of a knife attacker and what he is thinking,” Walther explained to Tazpit. “Afterwards, we helped participants actually practice the various self-defense techniques.”

The event attracted people who originally came to Gan Sacher park (where the training sessions were held) for other reasons. “I actually came to the park to [spend time] with friends and saw this group doing self-defense exercises,” said Ayo, an acro-yoga instructor. “But after watching, I realized it was really important to at least do what we can to protect ourselves given the current situation.”

Rori Walther did provide a comforting thought for Israelis during these tense times. “You don’t need that much power to take someone down who is bigger or stronger than you,” Walther stressed. “You just need to use the right tactics and we can teach that.”

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