CGNA introduced some ways to stay safe


Kathleen Degnan demonstrates some safety moves with a willing "victim," Cleo's owner Scott Floersheimer

Following through with their theme of safety, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association (CGNA), had a martial arts guest speaker at their May 16 meeting in Output Lounge, 1758 W. Grand Ave. 

Kathleen Degnan, a Master of Korean martial art of Tang Too Do as well as the owner of 606 Karate & Self Defense, 1500 N. Hoyne Ave., 773.490.4822, demonstrated ways to protect oneself. 

The two videos below have Degnan and a masked man (Dan Ryan) demonstrating defensive moves.

Explaining how important it is to be aware of one's surroundings, she gave these tips:

    • minimize contact with attacker as well as length of time in contact
    • draw attention to the situation, instead of just screaming, try to yell "Call Police" "Call 911" "Fire" - as people are more likely to respond to specific instruction than generalized screaming
    • When you're walking stay off your phone, no headphones, and make eye contact with everyone you see, it helps a potential attacker to humanize you in their mind
    • When you're making a transition, ie, passing an alley, crossing a street, getting on a train, etc., be very aware and make sure you look both ways and down alleys to ensure that you don't get blindsided
    • if you have to walk alone at night in a less populated area, walk down the middle of the street
    • while pumping gas, either stand with your back against your car so you have a line of sight all around you, or sit inside your locked car while pumping gas
    • trust your instincts and if you have a gut feeling about something, listen to it
    • when your space is violated, that is the time to take action. If someone is following closely behind you, cross the street or walk to a more populated area
    • Better to run than fight if you have the option
    • if an attacker wants your phone and purse, throw it one way and then run in opposite direction
  • any time you are out be looking for the closest safe place in case you need to run somewhere. While running, be yelling "Call police" "Call 911"
  • No matter what, keep fighting if you have to fight - never give up! Do everything in your power to avoid being taken to another location - they only want to take you to another location for controlled privacy and no good will come of it
  • Some good areas to attack include the throat, eyes, temple, and groin (just to name a few)
CGNA along with West Town Neighbors Association (WTNA) and 12th Police District Facilitators are supportive of the West Town Public Safety Committee and recommend that people stop by their booth at Do Division in the Family Section with Illinois State Senator Omar Aquino on June 4th. 

 *Photo and videos by Lauren Young


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