Self defense program participants praise the class; community group plans to host more sessions

Jessica L Szabo

Silver Pinyon Journal

21 May 2009

WINNEMUCCA —After taking any class it’s important to reflect on what you’ve learned; the information may be vital for future required classes, your job, or just an especially enjoyable hobby. But for students in women’s self-defense classes the information might literally save their lives.

Sharlet Post-Berensten recently participated in a self-defense class after reading about it on the popular social-networking site Facebook. She signed up because she wanted to support Humboldt CAASA (Community Advocates Against Sexual Assault) and to do something for herself. Post-Berensten reported that the class was even better than what she expected. "I thought it would be all about posture, attitude, etc,” she said. "I’m glad the instructor got right into the 'real stuff' so the two days were all about potential bad situations and how to handle them. I really appreciated the simple, yet useful technique to disable gun-wielding bad guys.”

Post-Berensten also noted the feelings of confidence and empowerment she was left with after the class. “I knew I wasn't timid but this class verified for me the empowerment I already felt and that I had it in me to fight hard if necessary. (It) made me want to take more classes such as kickboxing, boxing, TaeKwon-Do,” she stated, adding that she would sign up for more classes if they were offered at different levels and would even like to teach these classes herself someday.

Chelle Robinson echoed Post-Berensten’s sentiments, stating that the class was even better than she expected it to be, describing it as much more involved in terms of teaching participants how to physically protect themselves. “I found a few more muscles I didn’t know I had,” she added, noting that all of the information the students were taught was incredibly valuable and useful in a variety of situations from physically fighting back to avoiding dangerous situations whenever possible.

Neither woman would hesitate to recommend these self defense classes to other women. “I wish all high school and college bound girls would take it,” said Post-Berensten. I learned that anyone - even if smaller than the bad guy -- can pretty much disable a predator and that we all have the survival instincts. So we need to practice, practice, practice so it becomes second-nature.”

“Everyone should know how to protect themselves, as there is no "type" of victim. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime,” added Robinson.” We all hope it'll never happen, but if it should, it's always better to know how to defend yourself as best you can and to get out of the situation as soon as possible.”

Robinson would not only recommend the class to other women, she and the other members of Humboldt CAASA are currently working with the instructor, Paul Montenegro, to bring more sessions of the class to her community.

“We (CAASA) and Paul are planning a refresher for those who just took it, as well as another class for people who have yet to take it,” she said. “While we encourage every woman to take this class, we particularly want to encourage women who travel alone or are going away to college soon. Campus sexual assaults across the country are high, so we strongly encourage all women (including teens!), to take this class. Just to remind everyone, we are happy to arrange a viewing of Girls Fight Back!, for any group of people or organization. Call or email us and we're happy to arrange it for you.”

Contact Humboldt CAASA at: 623-2328.


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