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Self defense can help with popular New Year's resolution to get in shape

PLATTSBURGH - A new year has arrived, bringing resolutions such as losing weight and staying fit. Self defense is one way to do just that.

January is National Personal Self Defense Month which may be a good time to bring safety and fitness together.

David Boise, owner of Villari's Self Defense Center in Plattsburgh, said there are a variety of reasons people turn to martial arts.

"Even though they say they want health and fitness, deep down inside we all go into martial arts for security," he explained. "Traditionally martial arts was designed for health and fitness and then it leaned toward self defense."

The Association for Women's Self Defense Advancement brings light to some startling statistics - Every single day four women are killed by abusive partners; one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime; and a woman is raped every 46 seconds.

With statistics such as these, Boise said he's been honoring January as self defense month by offering a women's self defense class.

"Basically we work on gross motor skills," he said. "Gross motor skills ... are the first thing that lead you to a real self defense situation. There's a lot of psychological components to it."

However, Boise has also seen the health benefits of learning self defense.

"I lost 55 pounds my first year," he said. "It works the body naturally. Not using weights."

"Now the big thing in fitness is using your own body," Boise added. "It's a combination of things - mental, physical, spiritually, finding your center."

Villari's even offers a cardio karate class which can burn more than 800 calories in an hour, while using self defense techniques such as a fast jabs, kicks and protective blocks.

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