City offers women’s self-defense class

HARLINGEN — The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is offering free self-defense classes for women beginning Feb. 8 and Feb. 15.

The two-session evening classes will be held at the Cultural Arts Center behind the main library from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Although there is no cost to participate, city officials urge participants to pre-register so they can determine how many people want to attend.

“The gentleman who is doing this is Horacio Rodriguez, and he is our ju-jitsu instructor, so he does other classes for us as well,” Lara Di Paola, recreation supervisor for the city’s parks and rec department, said yesterday.

The two-day workshops will run from 6 to 9 p.m. each night, and will cover a variety of issues and situational scenarios and how best to respond to them.

“They’re going to be touching on topics like domestic violence and violent crimes against women,” Di Paola said. “They’ll be looking at not just physical skills but also awareness of your surroundings and avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

“And then, of course, they’re going to learn how to get out of holds and learn some kicks and strikes to be able to get away,” she added.

Additional two-session classes are scheduled for March 8 and 15 and April 12 and 19. Di Paola requests those interested in attending the free sessions register online first.

“If it’s something that gets a lot of good response, hopefully we’ll be doing more throughout the year,” Di Paola said.

Women’s self-defense workshop

WHAT — Classes on situational awareness, domestic violence and escape

WHERE — Cultural Arts Center, 576 ‘76 Drive, next to library

WHEN — Feb. 8, 15; March 8,15; April 12, 19

COST — Free but registration required

Register for the class here