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Registrations are still being accepted for a four week self-defense class for women and teenage girls being offered at East Central College.    A separate class for men and teenage boys will begin February 24.      


The non-credit class for women will be held every Tuesday evening from February 4 through 25, and the men’s class will begin Monday, February 24 and conclude March 17.  Both classes will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Training Center on the ECC campus in Union.  The classes are sponsored by ECC’s Center for Workforce Development.


Cost for the four sessions is $80 per person and will include instruction in many simple, yet effective, mental and physical self-defense methods.


“Participants will learn how to protect themselves, develop self-esteem and get physically fit, “ said instructor Tim Raftery.   “The course emphasizes avoidance, awareness, confidence building and street worthy techniques taught in a safe, controlled environment.”  He noted that U.S. Department of Justice statistics state there is a sexual assault every two minutes in the United States.


Raftery is the only instructor authorized to teach CODA jujitsu outside of the immediate St. Louis area.  He received his rank through CODA Martial Arts and the Rakkasans Martial Arts Association.  The curriculum is a combination of shorinryu, small circle jujitsu, judo and Brazilian jujitsu.  “This is an art that you can grow old with and still be able to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Raftery said.


Raftery primarily teaches self-defense.  “I’m not interested in tournaments of any kind,” he said. “Tournaments have rules and there are no rules on the street.  I train survivors, not champions.”


Raftery also teaches life skills and bullying prevention programs throughout the area.  He is currently involved with the Foundations for Franklin County working with at-risk children in the community.  “I find it very gratifying to see men, women and children empower themselves and know that in some small way I helped changed their lives for the better,” stated Raftery.


For more information or to register call 636-239-0598 or email: .  Participants should dress for light to medium physical contact.  

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