RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A sexual assault in south Reno last week has much of the community on edge, so a local martial arts school is offering a free class to help people take their safety into their own hands.
"We teach people how to be in harmony with any type of conflict - especially physical," said Vince Salvatore, chief instructor at Aikido of Reno.
In addition to their usual classes, this week they're adding a free self-defense seminar.
"I heard about some of the stuff that happened in the community and I became concerned," Salvatore said.
He's not alone.
Many people in the community are nervous after a sexual assault and attempted abduction happened in the same week.
"We'll talk about some coping strategies and how to deal with your fear and use it as your ally," he said.
Because, Salvatore said, that fear can hurt you if you find yourself in danger.
"When people are confident, when they're centered, they're much more likely to be able to defend themselves or to be able to get out of dangerous situations," Salvatore said.
So he is teaching people how to defend themselves.
One piece of advice: if somebody grabs you, the first thing you want to do is lower your center of gravity, so you have the strength of your whole body when you pull away.
Not everything Salvatore teaches is physical.
"[We'll show you] how to use your voice to ward off people or at least to alarm the people around," Salvatore said.
He said awareness is key. You should use all five senses to pay attention to what is going on around you.
"If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't," Salvatore said. "Trust your instincts."
During the self-defense seminar, they will play out potential real-life threats for people of all ages.
"For the kids it will be G-rated. For the adults, it'll be PG-13 probably," Salvatore said.
He said this is his way of serving the community and if there's a demand for more classes, they'll meet the need.
If you'd like to take the free self-defense seminar Wednesday, Sept. 25, you can RSVP by calling 775-337-8030.
The first class is for kids ages 6 to 11 and it starts at 5 p.m.
The second class is for ages 12 and up - including adults - and that starts at 6p.m.