With reports of random attacks and stabbings continuing to plague Vancouver weekly, a self-defence expert is offering a knife defence class to interested members of the public.
Jennifer Bajus, a Krav Maga Force training safety officer and Federation of Israeli Martial Arts black belt, said she was moved to offer the course as “random assaults keep rising in our city.”
“It’s about time that our community starts to take ownership back onto themselves about their own personal security,” the combat fitness, self-defence and personal safety instructor told Global News.
“Instead of feeling insecure, instead of feeling fear walking down the street, empower yourself.”
Bajus trains with the Women’s Personal Safety Team at the Vancouver Police Department.
According to Vancouver police, there are an average of four random stranger attacks in the city each day. Between Sept. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2021, there were 1,555 such assaults, 47 per cent of which involved weapons.
“It’s really important to embrace that the knife is here to stay. Violence is here. No one is immune to violence,” said Bajus.
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The 90-minute course on Sept. 25 will focus on avoiding dangerous situations first, she explained, prioritizing a safe exit over a fight. About 90 per cent of one’s personal security comes down to situational awareness, she added.
“We always reiterate in class to put your phones away. Pay attention, always stay tuned into everything that’s going on around you because that’s really what self defence is about,” Bajus explained.
“It’s avoidance, it’s not fighting. The fighting is the last part.”
Bajus said participants in the course will learn both avoidance techniques and how to inflict a “real injury on someone” quickly in order to make a safe escape. The biggest mistake people make in a knife attack is to “freeze” on the spot, she added.
The course will be offered at Infofit on West Broadway. Tickets are $95 each. More information is available on Infofit’s website.