The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, announced that many of its world-champion coaches will host free classes at their respective martial arts academies, in support of the National Self-Defense Institute’s “Self-Defense Awareness Month” in January. In all, more than a dozen schools will hold more than 20 free classes nationwide. These and other coaches may also sponsor additional classes during the month.
The coaches involved will include world champions Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie, Maurice Smith, Matt Lindland, Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock and their staffs, with events being held from New York City, Long Island and Philadelphia, on the east coast to St. Louis, and Las Vegas and Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles on the west coast as well others. The classes are open to men and women of all ages and are on a first come, first serve basis.
“The IFL and our coaches are proud to be promoting Self-Defense Awareness Month in this way,” said IFL Co-founder and Commissioner Kurt Otto. “Many people, particularly women, utilize martial arts for self-defense purposes, and by providing these free classes, our coaches are making an important commitment to help people in the same communities in which they train their IFL teams and others where they run academies.”
National Self-Defense Institute (www.ndsi.org) utilizes the opportunity to promote its SAFE (Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange) program. The program has a two-fold purpose: to prevent crimes of sexual violence through programs of education and training, focusing primarily on awareness and prevention; and to educate women about realistic options that will help them avoid, escape, and survive assaults if they do occur.
Following is the schedule of free classes to date; participants are urged to check www.ifl.tv for an updated list, and to call ahead to the academy in their area to reserve a spot.
• Maurice Smith’s Kickboxing, Bellevue, Wash., Jan. 13, 11 a.m. (206/861-5881)
• Renzo Gracie Academy, New York, Jan. 13, 1 p.m. (212/356-4000, www.renzogracie.com)
• Shamrock Martial Arts Academy, San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 6 pm and Saturday, Jan. 20, 3 p.m. (408/225-2883, shamrockmartialarts.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 17, Jan. 24, 7 p.m. (605/718-8889, mfs-rapidcity.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, New Hyde Park, N.Y., Jan. 19, Jan. 26, 8 p.m (516.877.8070, www.miletichnewyork.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Irvine, Calif., Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, 4 p.m. (949/833-8338, mfs-irvinecal.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Las Vegas, Jan. 20 and 27, 4:30 p.m. (702/339-4470, mfs-lasvegas.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Manhattan, Kans., Jan. 20, 10 a.m. and Jan. 31, 1 p.m. (785/236-9434, mfs-manhattanks.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Philadelphia, Jan. 20, 2:30 p.m.; Jan. 27, 2:30 p.m. (215/467-1008, mfs-philly.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, St. Louis, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, noon (314/664-0466, mfs-stlouis.tripod.com)
• Miletich Fighting Systems, Greenville, S.C., Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m.; Jan. 27, 1:30 p.m. (864/420-1646, mfs-greenvillesc.tripod.com)
• Legends Gym, Hollywood, Calif., TBD (323/230-7669, www.legendsmma.com)
• Team Quest, Gresham, Ore., TBD (503/661-4134, www.tqfc.com)