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LGBTQs Stay Safe When Defensive Pride Hosts Six-Week Course

Friday Apr 21, 2017

On Sunday, April 23, Defensive Pride, a North Shore self-defense group dedicated to the LGTBQ community, is holding its first six-class course from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Defensive Edge, 18 Del Carmine St., in Wakefield, MA. Each class will be held on a Sunday.

The course is open to anyone in the LGBTQ community, or any allies to the community, from ages 14 and up. Anyone under 18 will require a parent or guardian to sign them up. Tuition for all six classes is $145. There will be two "make-up" classes for anyone who misses a class.

The group was conceived and created by Michael Aki, a gay dad, who felt there was a need. The Pulse nightclub massacre deeply affected Michael and the increase in assaults on our community since the 2016 elections, and the shift in our governing body, strengthened his resolve to do something.

As someone who happened to be a martial arts practitioner, he approached the owner of the martial arts Dojo he went to, Rick Alford of Defensive Edge, and asked if he would be interested in helping him put together classes and support the group. Alford, a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, gave a resounding "yes!" He also believed there was a need.

The course is designed to appeal to all skill levels. You do not have to be in super physical shape nor be a martial artist. You just need to have basic mobility. In reality, self-defense is most effective with basic gross motor skill techniques. The course will teach both physical and non-physical techniques of defending yourself against singular and multiple opponents.

The classes will be taught by Sensei Rick Alford, as well as his instructors. Michael will be coordinating the classes and volunteering his time to assist in the classes as well as provide comic relief for the nervous.

For more information and to sign up, visit or visit or


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