Seniors Come To Own Defense By Learning Self Defense

Local Martial Arts Academy Says Everyday Items Can Save You

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — When it comes to personal safety, senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable segments of the population. Their age has made them slower, weaker, and an easy target for crime.

However, there are simple self-defense techniques that can help make the difference between becoming a crime statistic or a survivor, reports CBS 2’s Chris Wragge.

Brutal crimes against the elderly are unthinkable, but are also a cruel reality.

Now, though, many seniors are taking matters into their own hands. Using common items including canes and newspapers, and even trying out basic fighting techniques, they’re learning how to defend themselves – and even defeat a potential attacker.

“I’ve had some incidents happen recently that have given me some alarm,” 65-year-old Colin Lively said.

“They see white hair, and they don’t know what condition you’re in or what age you are,” said 84-year-old Lillian Engel.

“I try to give them what I feel would be the most important things for them to learn,” Dan Anderson, of the Anderson Martial Arts Academy, said.

They’re learning techniques like transforming a cane into a weapon to fend off an attacker.

“You’re looking for one that’s a little easier, with a handle like this,” Anderson said.

The seniors are even being taught how to turn a rolled up newspaper or magazine into a viable self-defense tool.

“I’m impressed with how much damage one can do with a rolled up New York Times, frankly,” Anthony Hayden said.

Physical moves are taught to be directed at the face, designed to do the most damage without throwing a senior off-balance.

“I think that is something that was easy to do, especially the way to take the thumbs across the eyes,” Lively said.

Other skills include using a pen for protection and even confidence-building, while common sense precautions are stressed throughout.

“However fit you think you are, there’s always someone with a gun or a knife,” Hayden said.

Being armed with a makeshift weapon and some basic self-defense, however, improves the odds of fighting their way out of a dire situation.

“You almost have to fight back – you’re being attacked, and no one there is going to help you but yourself,” Anderson said.

Anderson stresses that even the act of fighting back against an attacker can tip the odds in a senior’s favor, because it’s never expected.

Anderson Martial Arts Academy offers free self-defense classes several times each month. For more information, click here.


One Comment

  1. cdw says:

    @TruthSeeker: I am, unfortunately, not a Constitutional scholar. Were I this still wouldn’t be the place to discuss such issues. Perhaps there’s a more topical article for your particular questions.

    Do you have nothing to say about the matter at hand? I’m incredibly happy to be a member of a school which would donate its time to make sure that seniors in my area are aware that they needn’t be so concerned for their safety.

    Whether they train here or are just inspired to take a self-defense course at their local Y I’m proud that AMAA is able to reach out and give back to the community.

  2. kate says:

    I thinks its great!!! amazing work guys

  3. Truth Seeker says:

    Dear CDW,Thank you for posting that obvious Truth about Your Great city.
    Please let me ask,
    Is New York in America,?
    Does NYC have the Same United States Constitution
    all your Neighbor states have?
    Does the ruler of your city
    know about the 2nd Amendment,
    and the rights you already have?.
    I’m saddened that you have had your Constitutional rights
    to keep and bear arms for self defence
    stolen from you.
    You should call the Police,
    and put out an apb to get your rights returned to you ,..

  4. cdw says:

    @Truth Seeker, DanTe: You may not be locals so you may not know this but civilians aren’t generally allowed to carry a gun in NYC. The process for obtaining a permit to even own and keep a handgun (within your home or business) is a series of amusing hoops.

    Also it’s obvious that those involved weren’t saying a newspaper and some chutzpah will replace or overcome a gun:
    “‘However fit you think you are, there’s always someone with a gun or a knife,’ Hayden said.”

    The issue at hand was teaching seniors, who are targeted (at least in NYC) for frequently unarmed, spur-of-the-moment attacks/robberies to employ techniques designed to make use of on-hand items.

    Is a gun the defensive tool of choice for a trained user? Certainly. But here in New York it’s not an option that’s available to civilians. OC and CC licenses are practically myths in NYC – .
    Your example from Florida is appreciated, but doesn’t have much bearing in a city where you must lock your ammunition in a separate container from your gun during transport.

  5. carlos says:

    we understand that we are at war with the constitution about our rights to bear arms but what if we dont have them why rely soley on one particular object as something to defend yourself its good to know all around how to defend yourslef in various ways thats what there teaching people need to open there eyes and look at the bigger picture

  6. Insider says:


    Clearly every senior can’t get a gun – so this is the best thing they have! Clearly you don’t understand that they need SOME form of self defense. Got a gun? Great. If you don’t then what? moron.

  7. Truth Seeker says:

    What tool do American Troops depend on to defend their lives when they are attacked.
    What tool does a Police officer depend on to defend his life when he is attacked.
    What tool do you use to defend your life when you are attacked.
    Is your life worth less than theirs

  8. DanTe says:

    Stupid Stupid Stupid

    Just like REAL martial arts instructors will tell a kid not to fight an adult because of the mass differences. The same applies to seniors, adding response differences to it.

    This is just another libturd feel good STUPID story.

    You want real defense. Get a gun.

    But libturds hates guns. Gee, I wonder why libturds like Hitler hates for people to own guns. (Columbia University heiled Nazi Germany as the “most civilized” country for their gun ban.) Does ssssssssssssssssss (gas oven sound) brings back joyous memories of past restrictions on self defense?

  9. Truth seeker says:

    Here in Florida a Local senior was attacked while riding his bicycle,knocked to the ground,
    and just when the the younger robber was towering over him
    the defenceless senior pulled his old .25 Semi auto pistol from his holster
    and said “Stop or IL shoot you”
    the criminal was terrified and ran away,. and shortly arrested,
    a rolled up News paper is a good weapon for swatting flys, not thugs.
    Guns wee invented for Lawful Self Defence.

  10. Joshua Rao says:

    This is amazing! At least someone is helping to look after our Seniors. Great stuff AMAA, keep it up!

Comments are closed.

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