Narbonne: To build self-confidence, the elderly adopt a method of self-defense

Among the many activities available to senior holders of the Elicia municipal card, self-defense courses are very popular. The participants are mainly women who do not want to be easily maimed by attackers.

“When you’re alone on the street, especially in the evening, you don’t feel safe at all. I was attacked once and it was very surprising. That’s what made me decide to do self-defense.” Like Joëlle, 66, seniors no longer want to feel insecure. With the Elicia card, they get access to self-defense courses at discounted rates. This means €20 per renewable period. Sessions are held once a week in the privileged setting of the Maison des services dojo in St-Jean St-Pierre. The instructor is Frank Landry, an expert in self-defense, judo, ju-jitsu and krav-maga. He is soon assisted by 78-year-old Nicole, a judo black belt holder since 1973.

With Franck Landry and Nicole, the students learn to dodge punches.

Fingers in the eyes and knees in the parties

“Our society has become ultra-violent, even for the elderly. It is an urban jungle where they feel vulnerable and are more easily at the mercy of attackers. Moreover, the European Krav Maga Federation has started a thought to adapt learning. self-defense to this public”, Frank Landry explains. Techniques are adapted to the muscle strength and physical abilities of the elderly. There is no question of throwing the opponent on the tatami, or even boxing. “The principle is above all to learn to dodge and run, save time and seek help.”

By resisting, we know that we are more likely to let the attacker go.

For this, Frank Landry advises first “target the legs, feet, knees or ankles”, before attacking the upper body such as the throat or sternum. Students learn to plant their fingers in the opponent’s eyes and deliver huge blows with knees to the genitals. “Especially effective,” Nicole says. “Ladies can also use their nails to break an opponent’s nose or scratch his face.” Frank Landry teaches “Moves that are accessible to the elderly, it allows them to not lose their balance. Even if the participants are not supermen, I always give them tools that can be useful for them. Because we know that by resisting, the aggressor is more likely to let go.”

Stop the revolver attack, one of the techniques taught in self-defense classes.

Stop the revolver attack, one of the techniques taught in self-defense classes.

“The old man who was attacked will not go out on the street again”

Self-defense courses also allow you to acquire the correct reflexes during a knife or revolver attack. “The important thing is to be able to create reflexes and automatisms. The more insurance you have, the less you hesitate,” Nicole adds. For Franck Landry, “The ultimate goal of self-defense courses is to avoid dissociation. Because once an elderly person has been attacked, he will no longer go out on the street. He will be locked up at home and will dry up physically, mentally and spiritually.” The opportunity to create social relationships, “or come and hit the foam shields to release the steam”. All in a lively and friendly atmosphere. Just to give a big blow to the feeling of self-doubt and insecurity.

what do they think

Joelle, age 66: “Self-defense allows me to gain confidence.
This is reflected even in my attitude and the way I look on the street. I’ve learned about mattes, but haven’t had a chance to apply them yet. However, recently my disabled husband was pushed at the bus stop, and I ran after his attacker.”

Jackie, Dean of the Course: “I’m a former judoka and I have to move. My wife died and I’m home alone, so I have to fill the free time. I’m not a very good student, but I have character and I don’t put myself in it!”.

Michèle 72 years old, Louisa 68 years old, Marie-Ange 65 years old: “We are neighbors and we decided to go to a self-defense course together. We also follow sports courses adapted for the elderly. Self-defense teaches us to protect ourselves. Now we have to constantly repeat gestures to learn to coordinate our movements. better.

Also read:
Narbonne: Elicia, a passport to culture, leisure and recreation for 8,500 seniors

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