Miss A Columnist

Rochelle Robinson grew up in the Pacific Northwest immersed in the performance, musical, and fine arts, as well as athletics – from skiing in the water to skiing in the sleet and snow, to cycling around the velodrome. While studying fine art and the musical genre of jazz at the University of Washington she put both her passion for and experience in the arts into helping to create the Washington State Academic Achievement Standards for the Arts by serving on both the Arts and Standards Revision committees. She later completed a Master of Arts in Teaching at The University of Puget Sound and Master of Arts in Liberal Arts at St. John's College Graduate Institute. As an aspiring artist, as well as an educator, she is still intrigued by the creative process and what ensues as a result. Currently, she is developing a poetry blog called A Writer's Space and has co-written both a children's picture book and pilot for a children's TV show. Rochelle also works as an elementary school librarian and advanced reading teacher for a small private school in the valley. She is in the midst of developing a new business named Watercolor Weddings by Rochelle and is developing a series of paintings and conceptual artworks, the first of which is currently on display at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood. She hopes to inspire Miss A readers to explore, experience and get involved, as she sets out to bring a touch of the literary, fine and performing arts that are happening here in Los Angeles to our readers.

Recap: Equinox Marina Del Rey Hosts Empowering Women’s Self-Defense Class

I left Equinox Marina del Rey gym totally stoked after taking their women’s self defense class. Our trainers, Aaron Delgrolice and Junior Amazon, were knowledgeable, fun, gentle and clear in their instruction, and cute as could be.

Equinox Marina del Rey

(Photo Credit: Equinox Marina del Rey)

Aaron is trained in jiujutsu, fights MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in the cage and has been a private trainer through Equinox gyms for seven years and running. Junior is an Olympic wrestling hopeful, has just moved to LA and recently began his training career at Equinox. I would feel completely comfortable and enthusiastic about training long-term with either of these guys.

Their self-defense class was super fun and informative. The six of us girls were all there to put ourselves into the experience and cheered each other on as we tackled each exercise. I left feeling more confident and energized to take my training to a new level. Also, very importantly Aaron and Junior emphasized some key take-always right from the beginning that were revisited throughout our mini-training.

1. Aiming for key areas of the body like the throat, eye, elbow, groin, or nose lessons the magnitude of the weight/power difference between you and a potential offender. Those areas are exposed, no matter how much mass a body acquires.

Equinox Marina Del Rey self-defense class

(front row, from left to right) Aaron Delgrolice, Junior Amazon (back row, from left to right) Leia Feazel, Rochelle Robinson, Lara Tavares-Holman, Deborah Cluff, Riyanna Hartley (Photo Credit: Rochelle Robinson)

2. Keep your opponent in close, so you can control their movements. This may seem counter-intuitive, but you want to be able to disengage their hold, and instead get ahold of them, so you can gain leverage on their limbs. Leaving room between the two of you can give them room to gain a grip on you. You want to loosen their grip, force them to retract and get the heck out of there.

3. The point of fighting back is to get away, not engage in a tangle. This was important to me because, having a competitive spirit, I can understand the temptation to see the fight  through, rather than taking aim and running away.

4. Being in good condition and having strength is imperative, so keep up your cardio and strength training, ladies. You’ll not only keep yourselves looking fantastic, your odds of getting out of a serious tangle will be heightened.

5. Consistency in training is key to developing muscle memory and effective instinctive reactions. One workshop in isolation is of course helpful, but if you’re serious about taking care of yourself train and keep training.

Equinox Marina Del Rey self-defense class

Aaron Delgrolice and Junior Amazon (Photo Credit: Rochelle Robinson)

Infusing jujitsu, wrestling and boxing, Aaron and Junior methodically warmed us up, built upon simple to more complex moves and finally led us through some effective ways of getting loose, immobilizing a potential opponent and getting away safely. Our instructors were coordinated and consistent in their approach and, while coaching for precision and power, were light-hearted and quick with a smile. It was a fabulous experience and one I recommend.

You can sign up to train with either Mr. Delgrolice or Mr. Amazon at Equinox Marina del Rey to increase your fitness, gain self-defense skills and habits, or to gain what you need to pursue competitive sports. Give it a go! Sign up today!

Equinox Marina del Rey
12455 Maxella Ave, Suite 204
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Ph. 310-306-1000

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