Martial arts instructor George Freeman said he believes everyone has the right to defend themselves, and he’s working to share that belief with others through a self-defense program for the blind.
“The community of blind people and those with low vision are not represented at most schools,” said Freeman, owner of the Kombative Academy of Traditional Martial Arts (KATMA).
Freeman partnered with the Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision to offer the class, which is a part of the 1 Touch Project, a comprehensive descriptive self-defense program designed specifically for people who are blind. The 1 Touch Project is a hands-on self-defense technique for dealing with assaults, aggressive behavior and bullying.
“It is a national program but with only four coaches in Georgia,” Freeman said. “I am the only coach here in the Savannah and Lowcountry area. I teach martial arts, self-defense and personal safety concepts here in Savannah.”
1Touch addresses the physical and psychological causes of insecurity and vulnerability through the empowering practice of hands-on, active self-defense methods, self-defense theory and discussions examining what makes a person insecure and why.
“It also establishes confidence,” Freeman said. “Confidence is important for everyone. If you lack that confidence, it shows and those who are predators can see that. So developing that confidence was key.”
Freeman said he hopes to offer an eight-week intensive course by the summer.