REACT Defense Systems classes are held in Chandler (along with Phoenix and Glendale) to teach women a variety of self-defense techniques.

Women can get a free lesson in self defense this weekend at Mountainside Martial Arts Center in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio, National Advocacy and Training Network (NATN), and Mountainside Martial Arts Center will host a free self-defense clinic for women from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 14, at Mountainside Martial Arts Center, 3173 E. Chandler Blvd.

During the class women will learn the basics of self defense which, if practiced regularly, could help in dangerous situations.

“Our focus on this is telling the women in the program we’re not going to go in depth,” said Rick Savagian, owner of Mountainside Martial Arts Center. “But we teach how to throw a proper punch and deliver a proper kick, and how to break out of wrist holds and what to do from there… If you throw 10 kicks every day at the end of the year that kick is going to be very proficient… When we run this seminar we work on very simple things that can be used. What we teach you today you can go home and practice. If you do 10 a day at the end of a year that’s 7,300 kicks and that’s going to be very proficient.”

Savagian said his school teaches about two or three self defense seminars a year as their way to give back to the community. Those who attend a free seminar are welcome to come back to the school to practice or learn more.

“Public safety should always be our No. 1 focus as a city,” said Councilman DiCiccio. “This event is about empowering women to protect themselves.”

Donations are suggested and will support NATN, an organization of survivors, volunteers, advocates and professionals working to end violence against women and children.

“We welcome our partnership with Councilman DiCiccio and the other organizations involved in keeping our community safe, while raising awareness about the dynamics of domestic violence,” said Monalou Callery, NATN founder and COO.

To RSVP, contact DiCiccio’s office at (602) 262-7491. The councilman’s office has asked that interested parties provide an email, name, phone number and the number of who will be attending. The event is open to all women ages 14 and over.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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