In response to an increase in anti-Asian violence and apprehensions among LightHouse students venturing out after over a year of very limited travel and sheltering in place, along with the hesitation of schools, businesses, and social and recreational spaces reopening, LightHouse felt it was important to develop an inclusive personal safety workshop that would instill confidence in our community as we approach the post-pandemic world.
On Saturday, June 26, LightHouse’s Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (BIDE) task force partnered with martial arts instructor, George Freeman of KATMA Defense in Savannah, Georgia, to bring the members of the blind and low vision community the first of three new self-defense workshops, Your Personal Safety: Getting Back to Normal.
Instructor George Freeman has been teaching and practicing martial arts professionally for over a decade. He sought to develop a 3-part series of safety seminars that would cover strategies, techniques and approaches for feeling more confident being out in the community again. LightHouse participant, Jane Y., joined the Zoom seminar and found the experience to be positive, empowering, and educational.
Jane is in her early seventies and has low vision. Her first class with the LightHouse was in February this year when she attended Changing Vision, Changing Life, she says it lived up to its name.
“I found a tribe of supportive, knowledgeable, compassionate and genuine people in both staff and participants. in the past few months, LightHouse has graced my life with Yoga Support Group, one on one Tech Training, Low Vision Training, Tactile Training. In mid-July I start Orientation and Mobility training.”
She also signed up for the Self-defense class and found it very worthwhile and informative.
“The communication skills and integrity of the moderator and the presenter were superb! The format was very effective with direct participation, very informative videos and thoughtful Q & A. I was especially impressed with the self-empowerment messaging, ‘Use our own voices and actions to take charge of our lives whenever possible.’”
We are excited to offer two more of these important safety seminars, the next on August 28 at 1 pm and final on October 16 at 1 pm, to the LightHouse community and their friends and family this year. The courses will be open to all— people who are blind, low vision and sighted.
For more information about the upcoming seminars in August and October, look out for postings in future publications as those dates approach and be sure to visit our online calendar. For more information about George Freeman and the work he does, you can visit the instructor page on the Kombative Academy of Traditional Martial Arts website.