'Divas of Defense' in Driving Park, Ohio takes monthly women's self-defense classes. (Photo: www.championkaratefl.com)

A women’s empowerment group called ‘Divas of Defense’ is taking self-defense classes in order to learn techniques to help them get out of violent situations.

“We’ve decided to become self-empowered and take these self-defense classes because of some of the experiences we’ve been through,” Nina Craddolph, a founder of the Divas of Defense in Driving Park, told the Columbus Dispatch.

As the Dispatch notes, the group consists of roughly 10 females ages 13 to 50. They meet monthly to learn and practice different self-defense techniques. Some in the group have been raped or assaulted, while others want to ensure they don’t become a victim.

Steven Hatfield, their instructor at the Technician Dojo karate studio, described the Divas as “very street-oriented” and enthusiastic.

“It’s nice to have someone want to learn realistic self-defense,” said Hatfield, who teaches basic striking techniques like palm-heel strikes, punching, eye gouging, biting and hitting, in addition to scenario-based training.

“We use a lot of real weapons, a lot of real knives, and pistol training with BB guns,” Hatfield said. “We’re realistic without severely harming somebody because that’s the way you’ll know how to react.”

According to the Dispatch, Craddolph got a $500 startup grant from the Coalition for a Nonviolent Columbus to form the Divas of Defense. She hopes to expand the self-defense classes to twice a month.

“There was that desire to stand up for nonviolence and protection at the same time,” she said. “ As women, it’s important for us to become self-empowered, and we need to protect ourselves.”

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com

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