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Police offer free jiu-jitsu self-defense classes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The ability to defend yourself could mean the difference between life or death — regardless of whether you carry a gun or not.

That’s why the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is teaming up with Indiana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, based in Greenwood, to offer a free lesson in self-defense.

If you’re training with AJ Clingerman, you’re training with a beast.

“I win and I’m a world champion. It still feels crazy,” she said.

AJ is a jiujitsu world champion, the co-owner of the academy in Greenwood planned to instruct Tuesday night’s free class.

“Being trained, being able to defend yourself makes you more aware of your surroundings. Just paying attention to what’s going on could save your life in that kind of scenario,” Clingerman said.

The goal is not for this training to take the place of guns. It’s learning how to defend yourself regardless whether you chose to carry or not.

“I’m not against at guns. I have guns myself. I think that they definitely have their place, but you can’t always take a gun in a place. So, you know, at a concert, you need to be able to defend yourself if you don’t have your weapon on you,” Clingerman said.

Clingerman said she wanted to offer the free course in light of the school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead. Although she doesn’t believe self-defense would eliminate tragedies, she said she believes it could reduce the number of victims.

“There was the shooter on the train over in Europe a couple of years ago. The guys that stopped them are Brazilian jiu-jitsu guys,” she said.

Back to Tuesday’s lesson. You don’t need to be a hero to pass. You just need to survive.

This is the second time the academy has worked with IMPD to offer free lessons. If you could not attend Tuesday’s class, they plan to do more in the future.

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