Local gym to host a Smart Defense class

COLORADO SPRINGS – Iron Roots Gym is hosting a community self-defense night using the Smart Defense program. Erin Johnson and Dan Ries own Iron Roots Gym and are martial arts experts.

The class is organized in response to the recent tragic death of a teacher, Eliza Fletcher, who was abducted and killed while on a morning run.

Iron Roots Gym owner Erin Johnson is also an avid runner. She is a certified black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wants to provide a safe environment where women can come and learn self-defense techniques and awareness skills to help prevent and walk away from an attack.

Courtesy of Malouffoundation

Owners of Iron Roots Gym, Erin Johnson and Dan Ries

The class takes place on Friday, October 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for $20 per person and is open to all women in the community. Those interested can find out more here.

The Smart defense curriculum is a training program is a self-defense training program run by the Elizabeth Smart Foundation (ESF) and the Malouf Foundation. After being kidnapped and assaulted, she decided to help women around the world learn to defend themselves.

Miyo Strong and Elizabeth Smart.jpg

Courtesy of Malouffoundation

Miyo Strong and Elizabeth Smart, creators of Smart Defense

The program has been crafted from hand-picked self-defense techniques and skills with a number of martial arts styles including Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. The objective in choosing these techniques is to give participants the best chance or advantage of stopping a potential threat or evading an attacker.

The Smart Defense program also educates individuals about red flags and dangerous situations, as well as about consent and healthy relationships.


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Kristen T. Prall