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Better Safe than Sorry

Background: Melissa Palmer is an instructor at Karate International in Raleigh. She has a 3rd degree black belt in Karate, a 3rd degree black belt in Jujitsu, and a 1st degree black belt in Judo. The beginning of her Karate classes includes basic self-defense skills. The popularity of the self-defense portion grew so that there is now a separate class offered.


Do college students need self-defense more than other demographics or no?

  • My initial response is no. However, women at college age are usually the most vulnerable and have the highest chance of being attacked.

Do you think Raleigh is a safe place? Is it going to become more dangerous as it expands?

  • An area is only as safe as you make it. My hope is that more people will become aware and educated on how to stay safe, thus making it a safer place.

Why should people take self-defense?

  • People do many things to help prepare them for life. They go to school to learn, get needed training for a career, exercise and eat well for our physical health. However, few people take the time to learn how to stay safe. Many rely on others or think there’s no reason to learn because they don’t believe they are capable or feel they will never be attacked. Our lives are our responsibility and it’s up to us to protect it in every way possible.

What can people do to prevent attacks?

  • Educating yourself is the best defense. Learn about why attacks happen and create habits to keep yourself safe. Always be aware of your surroundings, aware of how you present yourself (are you walking confidently or do you appear tired or distracted), be smart about what you put on social media, be smart about where you go and who you choose to spend time with, keep your house well locked up with bushes trimmed and the outside well lit, etc. Take a self-defense course and learn how to not be a victim.

  • When it comes to defending yourself, there are thousands of ways to defend against one attack. It’s important for people to find what works best for them and create even a small arsenal of techniques and information that they can and will use.


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