Thursday, August 6, 2020 -
Print Edition

Attacks have Jerusalemites learning self-defense

The current wave of terrorist stabbing attacks has left many Israelis living in Jerusalem and the rest of the country on edge. In light of the current security situation, the Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Jerusalem has started to offer Jerusalem residents the opportunity to learn the necessary self-defense techniques for fending off potential stabbing attacks.

“One of the residents of the Nachlaot neighborhood [near Jerusalem’s city center] sought to organize a self-defense training session and I took the initiative upon myself since I have an academy of self-defense here in Jerusalem,” said Roi Walther, head instructor of the Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy to TPS.

Aharon Darmon, the Nachlaot resident who spearheaded the training session spoke with TPS about the uncertainty that many in his circle are feeling. “I was so worried about the situation now that I decided to organize an event,” he said. “I contacted an instructor Roi Walther and we organized this event on learning how to deal with knife attacks.”

Many of the self-defense techniques taught at the training session in Gan Sacher park located across from Nachlaot deal with providing one’s body with the largest amount of protection during a knife attack.

“Along with showing various self-defense techniques, we also spoke about the psychological aspects of a knife attacker and what he is thinking in implementing an attack,” Walther explained to TPS. “Afterwards, we helped participants actually practice the various self-defense techniques.”

The event attracted other people who originally came to the park for other reasons. “I actually came to the park to play some slackline with friends and saw this group doing self-defense exercises,” said Ayo, an acro-yoga instructor.

“It was really scary because of the knife simulations which are really similar to what’s going on in the city now,” Ayo continued. “But after watching, I realized it was really important to at least do what we can to protect ourselves given the current situation.”

Walther told TPS that he has much more to teach in self-defense than what was taught in the one lesson. “We just gave the people an ‘appetizer’ of what we teach,” said Walther, who noted that he would be opening sessions for English-speakers as well.

Walther also provided TPS with a comforting thought for Israelis during these tense times. “You don’t need that much power to take someone down who is bigger or stronger than you,” Walther stressed. “You just need to use the right tactics and we can teach that.”

Leave a Reply