By Napoleon F. Kingcade

Photographs: Napoleon F. Kingcade

Martial arts teveryer and Eighth diploma Black Belt grasp Lawrence Whitaker says thOn the driving strain behind his free self-protection packages For women started again in 1998, when his sister was homicideed by her boyfrifinish. That’s when Whitaker started to have workshops for youthful women To make sure thOn they knew The biggest Method To shield themselves in dangerous state of affairss.

As a Outcome of the Founding father of Metropolis Defense LLC in Philadelphia, Whitaker reveryes out to women Who’re anxious To hitch his free self-protection packages. Definitely one of his properly-acknowledged college students was Kijafa Vick, spouse of typeer Philadelphia Eagles quarteragain Michael Vick. Based mostly on Whitaker, because she was already in good athletic type, and was An straightforward particular person To level out.

The self-protection packages Whitaker runs haven’t sprimeped since his sister’s homicide. At first, he held free packages at Sixth and Brown Road, however now he teveryes a six-week class at Holy Apostles and Mediator Episcopal Church at 51st and Pine Road.  The packages are held every Wednesday night from 6 p.m. To eight p.m..

Martial arts teveryer and Eighth diploma Black Belt grasp Lawrence Whitaker poses Collectively with his college students.

His packages are Greater than merely teverying women The biggest Method to throw punches — he teveryes them completely different methods that includes shielding their particular personal space As quickly as they’re caught in A nasty state of affairs.

“You should focus In your environment,” said Whitaker, who was inducted Inside the Philadelphia Martial Arts Hall of Fame. “It’s not about punching somebody Inside the face. Tright here are 5 straightforward places wright here You will Have The power To harm A particular person and make your escape. You can hit them Inside the groin, poke them Inside The eye In any other case You’d possibly additionally chew your attacker.”

Amongst The numerous women who attfinishs the packages On the church is Lorraine Thomas, who travels every week from Southwest Philadelphia to joInside The completely different women Inside the self-protection packages. So far, Thomas hasn’t missed A class. Every Wednesday, she enjoys The two hours of studying self-protection methods from her teacher.

“At these packages, That Can be A great practice,” Thomas said. “It’s exactly important To discover methods to deffinish your self. You get to Research exact boxing and the kick-boxing recreation. You are taught The biggest Method To primarytain your palms. In his packages, You’d like to Concentrate and primarytain focused.”  

Whitaker teveryes protection methods to The women.

Thomas and The completely different women Try to encourage extra women to attfinish the self-protection packages On the church. They exactly feel his free packages are too useful To ignore. Proper now, Whitaker has about 30 college students. He encourages them to put on sneakers And cozy garments Similar to sweatpants, t-shirts and leggings.

“I even have been right here since day one,” Thomas said. “After these packages are over, We’ll Adjust to Lawrence Whitaker to his subsequent class. One factor I exactly like about his packages [is that] he teveryes us martial arts, which is An eye fixed-opener for all of us.” 

At a time when carjackings, sexual assaults and abductions are occurring extra frequently than ever earlier than, Whitaker said the free packages are meant To assist women. Recently, he informed Fox 29 Information he appears forward to starting A mannequin new advertising campaign to recruit extra women for his packages. He Desires to Obtain out to extra women throughout The city.

“By The prime of subsequent yr, I hope To Wind up to be The primary self-protection class For women in Philadelphia,” Whitaker said. ‘[Tright here are] not too many martial arts teachers who [are] doing what I’m doing. Proper now, the rivals Might be very small. That’s the objective I’ve set for myself.”

Collectively with being a Eighth Degree Black Belt, Whitaker additionally served six yrs Inside the U.S. Army as a sergeant and has traveled Across the globe. He spent one week in Port-a-Prince, Haiti wright here he taught the people martial arts by way of the Free Angels Basis. 

Judging by his resume’, Whitaker has a shiny future in entrance him. Proper now, he hopes to make A a lot greater influence Collectively with his self-protection packages and hopes To primarytain the door open for extra women To hitch his packages. His goals are within revery.

For extra Particulars about Metropolis Defense LLC, name: (267) 974-0287, or go to: