Aside from covering your body with pepper and entering the fetal position, the human knows a limited number of self-defense techniques. Today's side deal educates you in the Japanese martial art of aikido with eight classes, a month's worth, at Washington Aiki Kwai for $40. With two classes a week—Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.—you'll work with instructor John Kanetomi to learn to defend yourself while not inflicting pain on your attacker, thus making you a benevolent almost-victim.
Parkour Visions teaches aspiring traceurs_—the French word for parkour practitioners—how to overcome physical obstacles. Though the sport's origins are a bit fuzzy, it has achieved a wider audience thanks to the many parkour videos uploaded to Youtube as well as the popularity of the television show _American Ninja Warrior. These all highlight the purpose of parkour: to improve speed, strength, and coordination while learning how to move efficiently through your environment. At Parkour Visions's three locations, seasoned traceurs teach students of all skill levels and ages how to safely execute basic movements and landings, and, as a non-profit organization, they pay it forward by working with parks to help maintain their grounds and encourage safe outdoor training.
The skilled instructors at Krav Maga Eastside Training Center lead students through practical, stress-reducing workouts that hone real-life self-defense skills. As the official hand-to-hand combat system of the Israel Defense Forces, krav maga teaches simple principles that correspond to instinctive movements, training participants to protect themselves against chokes, grabs, weapons, or overly aggressive handshakes from mayoral candidates. Three one-hour group classes educate participants in the basic krav maga skills, and a three-hour Rape Prevention or Intro to Krav Maga course prepare students physically and mentally to fight off would-be assailants. The five-week krav maga self-defense course gives a small group of enrollees a thorough introduction to defensive combat techniques, and includes hand wraps to support and protect flying fists as they throw punches and compete in bare-knuckle Whac-A-Mole tournaments. Call ahead to schedule your first class.
Shihan (master instructor) Akio Minakami has been teaching karate since 1968 and founded Minakami Karate in 1983. Shihan Minakami is an internationally recognized authority on Japanese martial arts and is dedicated to teaching and preserving the traditions of Karate as a true martial art.