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‘Your life means everything:’ Self-defense instructor emphasizes importance of being prepared

todayMarch 3, 2024 6

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The student accused of pulling out a knife on a St. John Fisher University employee at the end of February is set to appear in court this week.

The employee being hailed for bravely disarming the student.

“She did exactly what she had to do, and she reacted on her basic instincts,” Chief Deputy Michael Fowler with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. “Her desire to preserve her life is what drove her actions and thank goodness they did.”

Police say the employee was able to disarm a student who approached her with a knife, with the intent to stab her. 

“Thankfully and most importantly the staff member is uninjured and was able to act appropriately as best she could and was able to separate herself from the offender and seek safety,” Chief Deputy Fowler added.

The employee told police she grabbed the student’s arm, pushed him into the wall, took the knife out of his hand, and shoved him into the hallway. Able to close her office door and call 911.

News 8 spoke with Frank Williams, who instructs women’s only self-defense classes at Williams Martial Arts Academy in Spencerport. He emphasized the importance of knowing these skills.

“They do try to hit the weak. So, if you do have some skills, you’re going to be ready for it,” Williams said.

We caught the end of a class where students were going over skills that Williams says with continued practice, will come to them automatically if they are being attacked.

“We make it simplistic. We don’t teach them how to punch. We teach them how to do all of the other techniques. The palm and heel strikes, the elbows,” Williams said.

Williams offers this advice if you find yourself in a situation where you need to protect yourself.

“If someone pulls a knife on you, and you have something available. You grab whatever it takes to defend yourself against that weapon,” Williams said. “If you get ahold of that weapon, you hold onto it for dear life.”

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The student accused of pulling out a knife on a St. John Fisher University employee at the end of February is set to appear in court this week.

The employee being hailed for bravely disarming the student.

“She did exactly what she had to do, and she reacted on her basic instincts,” Chief Deputy Michael Fowler with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. “Her desire to preserve her life is what drove her actions and thank goodness they did.”

Police say the employee was able to disarm a student who approached her with a knife, with the intent to stab her. 

“Thankfully and most importantly the staff member is uninjured and was able to act appropriately as best she could and was able to separate herself from the offender and seek safety,” Chief Deputy Fowler added.

The employee told police she grabbed the student’s arm, pushed him into the wall, took the knife out of his hand, and shoved him into the hallway. Able to close her office door and call 911.

News 8 spoke with Frank Williams, who instructs women’s only self-defense classes at Williams Martial Arts Academy in Spencerport. He emphasized the importance of knowing these skills.

“They do try to hit the weak. So, if you do have some skills, you’re going to be ready for it,” Williams said.

We caught the end of a class where students were going over skills that Williams says with continued practice, will come to them automatically if they are being attacked.

“We make it simplistic. We don’t teach them how to punch. We teach them how to do all of the other techniques. The palm and heel strikes, the elbows,” Williams said.

Williams offers this advice if you find yourself in a situation where you need to protect yourself.

“If someone pulls a knife on you, and you have something available. You grab whatever it takes to defend yourself against that weapon,” Williams said. “If you get ahold of that weapon, you hold onto it for dear life.” Read More NewsRochesterFirst  

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