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Fitness centers offering free workshops in self defense to empower community

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A group of people are hoping to empower families in the community after the murders of two teens in Carroll County.

The owners of Impact Zone gyms in Lafayette and Monticello came up with an idea to offer free workshops in self defense.

“We want to put on workshops basically for free for all the kids in the community that way they have an opportunity to come and learn this stuff,” said Carlos Soto, owner of Impact Zone in Lafayette.

“Basically educate, empower all these children so they know what to do in a self defense situation to bring a little bit of hope.”

Soto grew up in a small town and knows first hand what this tragedy has done to everyone in his community.

“I grew up in a small town a lot of us grew up in a small town and when something like this happens it steals a lot of trust and confidence,” he said.

Soto said the workshop will show students different mechanisms in self defense situations.

“Just basically take kids and be able to show them basic self defense principals to have more trust being able to walk around outside and feel confident,” he said.

Erica Reyes said she feels the same way. She runs the location in Monticello.

“For the community I hope it just makes them feel better I honestly want them to feel safer I hope it means a sense of going back to normalcy,” she said.

Reyes said she wants children and their parents to feel safe. Ava Mobley said she’s been taking lessons for several years.

“If I’m in like situations where I don’t know who very many people are and I’m not feeling very comfortable in the situation I’m in,” she said.

Mobley is 10 years old. She said  the classes in kickboxing, jiu jitsu, and strength and conditioning have taught her to feel more confident.

“You never use them on any people for bullying because I’m very against bullying,” said Mobley. “You use it to protect yourself.”

Soto and Reyes said they are still working to finalizing a time and place for the workshops in Delphi, Monticello, and Flora. Click here to learn about upcoming workshops.

For more information, click here.

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