Local UFC Gym teaching women how to fight back for free

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The UFC Gym is partnering with Samaritan House to hold free self-defense classes for women, where they can learn practical techniques to get out of scary situations.

The classes are held twice a month and the women learn to push back and escape a bad situation. Amanda Carter is an instructor with a specific goal.

"I wanted to work with moms. I wanted to work with women and build a community," said Carter, who has been teaching at the UFC Gym in Virginia Beach for a year.

Carter herself was in a situation she wished she knew how to get out of.

"This is something that happened 15 years ago and it’s still heavy with me. That’s why it’s such a passion. That’s why I want to prevent it for other people. God forbid it does happen to someone else, maybe it doesn’t go so far. Maybe it starts and you can get out and you can leave and get help," said Carter.

Friday's class focused on how to stand your ground if an attacker approaches you and how to escape chokeholds, even if you're pinned against a wall.

"Flex your neck, rule number one. You gonna save those couple seconds," said Alex Humen, another instructor. Then he instructed his students to find the weakest finger on the attacker's hand and use that in their favor.

Another focusing point during the class: never turn your back.

"I kinda learned how to tweak that, and not run and have my back facing, but to actually be mindful of the situation while I'm escaping," said Crista Gambell, who was taking the class for the first time.

All part of what Carter is hoping to build, which is muscle memory and strong women.

"Is always my goal to build strong confident women because it`s hard to victimize someone who already feels confident.'