Keeping Your Head While on the Defense with Dawna Ellis

Keeping Your Head While on the Defense with Dawna Ellis

“Self defense cannot be taught or learned until we recognize that we could be in danger” said Dawna Ellis during this month’s Chamber Education Series, sponsored by Southern Bank and Farm Fresh. Ellis, Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate held an interactive workshop on “Workplace and Personal Safety” Tuesday, June 13 at Dominion Towers. In addition to her role at Harvey Lindsay, Ellis is also a Black Belt Instructor at Virginia Martial Arts Center in Chesapeake, and holds a fourth degree black belt in Karate and first degree belt in Japanese sword. The Hampton Roads Chamber knows that being an inspiring ignitor means striving to improve the quality of life in all aspects, which includes safety.

During the class, Ellis focused on two areas, awareness and common sense self defense. “There is always potential for something to happen, so always be aware [of your surroundings] and take responsibility for our own personal safety” said Ellis. Putting important items like your purse in the trunk of your car before leaving the house and acknowledging those around you are two simple steps in limiting potentially dangerous situations.

In defense training, keeping calm, using a weapon your attacker does not have and making contact with a vital strike point are guidelines to effective defense techniques. The vital strike points are the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, solar plexus, groin, shin, and top of foot. “Any part of your body is a weapon, because your attacker does not have it” said Ellis “The head, teeth, hands, elbows and knees, can be the most effective parts of the body to fend off an attacker.”

The dynamic of having both the lecture and hands on partner drills allowed for impactful conversation, questions, and practical real life defensive skills. Yulia Bocharova with the American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia said what she benefited the most from was, “already knowing an action plan in case of a dangerous situation, and not having to worry about coming up with one.”

Ellis provided participants with the proper techniques for defending themselves if ever put in a situation or environment of potential danger, but the true purpose of the class said Ellis was “to teach you how to think.”
Being proactive in ensuring the safety of our community has a collective impact on a flourishing environment in both business and personal. As and impactful advocate, the Chamber will continue to provide opportunities to make Hampton Roads a greater place to live and do business.

The Chamber Education Series will continue with “Dress for Summer Success in the Workplace” with Nicole Wilkens at Waterside District, Blue Moon Taphouse on Tuesday July 11, 2017

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