LGBTQ and Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu partner on self-defense classes

NOW: LGBTQ and Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu partner on self-defense classes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The LGBTQ Center in South Bend is starting self-defense courses.

Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu is partnering with the center to offer classes that welcome all.

“It’s about finding the path of least resistance out of a potentially negative situation,” Jack Wilkinson with Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu said.

Stopping violence is something the LGBTQ Cetner also strives to do.

Their office is right next door to the Jiu-Jitsu location.

“All the things like Charlottsville happening, and these protests becoming somewhat violent in some regards, that it was just nice for our community members to have a way of just basic self-defense if they were to be attacked,” Jason Wilkinson, executive director of the LGBTQ Center said.

Jason and Jack, who have the same last name but are of no relation to each other, began working out details for the classes together, to protect people in a contentious political environment.

“I’ve heard lots of stories of people who verbally assaulted or physically assaulted,” Jason said.

Jack agrees.

“What’s great about Jiu-Jitsu is it allows you to end a physical confrontation in a way that doesn’t leave any marks or any long-term injuries to your opponent,” Jack said.

The first class is on September 16, and if turnout is good, the neighbors plan to hold more session through the year.

Classes are open to everyone in the community.

They can sign up on the LGBTQ Center website.

“When you come in here, and you get on the mat, and you put on that gi, we’re all the same. We’re all trying to do the same thing,” Jack said.


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