Women take free self-defense classes in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh Police released a sketch of a man who they say attacked a Raleigh woman.

The victim tells CBS North Carolina that while she was out jogging along Falls of Neuse Road, a man came behind her and tackled her to the ground.

On Saturday some Raleigh women took their self-defense into their own hands. Every two months, Taekwondo America offers free self-defense classes for women.

When she was 16-years-old, Julee Peck, now a 3rd-degree black belt, became the victim of an attack. Peck says while sitting in her friend’s car listening to music a man climbed in the car and got on top of her.

She escaped, but says that experience inspired her to train other women in self-defense.

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“There’s a lot of crime going on and I think if more women knew what to look out for and what to be aware of it would help the whole community to be safer,” Peck said.

Every two months Peck offers free self-defense classes for women. Saturday’s class focused on ground defense.

Instructor Matt Bouleris is also a law enforcement officer. He says often times attackers will tackle their victims to the ground, something that happened in Raleigh just last week.

Raleigh police are still on the hunt for a man who they say attacked a woman out on an evening jog along Falls of Neuse Road, just north of interstate 540.

“The world’s gotten a little crazy,” Bouleris said. “People are attacked all the time and while it’s somewhat instinctual to fight or be defensive with your hands and finger nails and elbows from a standing position it’s very confusing when you get to the ground. Things change a lot especially if someone trying to put their weight on top of you.”

Peck says if you find yourself in a dangerous situation it’s important to not only fight back but also use your voice.

It’s Marnie Settle’s tenth self-defense class.

“I think our first response is to kind of ball up in fear and (this is) just practicing over and over and having more confidence,” Settle said.

Peck will hold a pepper spray training class on October 14.

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