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Self-defense classes becoming more popular

The number of people nationwide deciding to take self-defense classes is on the upswing. It's due to an increase in crime nationwide, and here in Central New York, some people are taking self-defense classes for the same reason.

Aikido of Central New York on Erie Boulevard does a brisk business every week teaching men and women how to defend themselves. Students here say crime is one of the reasons they decided to sign up for the course.

Yousuf Mehter has been the owner of the center for more than 30 years and he has had many students who have put their self defense tactics to good use. Mehter is the "sensei" here and he related the story of a former student who took his class. Mehter told Action News that the student is now a truck driver. He said, "During a trip to Arkansas, my student pulled into a motel for the night. As soon as he got off his truck, three huge guys attacked him. He was able to defend himself. The three of them ran away. Two of them fell down and they got up and ran away."

Students at the Aikido Center told Action News their self-defense classes are well worth the effort. Student Stephanie Czajkowski said, "Your body can just react. You've already gone through the motions so many times, if it happened you were more likely to be able to react and get away."

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