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Wait List - Self Defense for Men & Women Class


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Full course description


Ybor City Campus Public Service Technology Building - YPST (9th Ave & 17th St.)

2002 N. 17th St.

Tampa, FL 33605

Room:  YPST Rooms 120/158

Student Parking:  Designated student parking is located in the YSSB Lot and Student Garage.  Both require student parking decals to avoid City of Tampa parking citations. 

To register for a student parking decal please visit YSSB 107 for assistance.  Phone:  813-253-7626.

Day:  Saturday 

Date: TBD

Times:  8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Description:  The best way to protect yourself is to be proactive! The best defense is offense!  This self-defense course is designed to make you more aware, prepared, and ready for any situation that may occur in your daily life. This class will cover physical, mental, as well as emotional tactics for anyone regardless of age or physical conditioning.


  • Desire to develop a personal safety plan
  • Wear appropriate gym shoes and clothes free of any sharp objects (no street shoes)
  • Comfortable clothes that do not restrict body movement: jeans, shorts or sweats
  • No Jewelry

The following will be covered:

Part 1-Safety Discussion/mental tactics:

  • How to avoid being a target/scanning the area
  • The “Illusion of Safety”
  • The power of body language and non-verbal cues
  • Specific locations: elevator, street, car, bars, taxis, Uber, etc.
  • Learning how to use your voice
  • Communication with others

Part 2-Physical Techniques:

  • How, when, and where to strike
  • Learning various strikes from head to toe
  • What to do from the floor & how to handle attacks from behind
  • Escape from grabs and choke-holds
  • How to handle multiple attackers & what to do when a weapon is involved
  • How to use weapons, both traditional as well as improvised

Part 3-Emotional Tactics:

  • Keeping composure during a stressful situation
  • Tactical breathing
  • Dealing with/understanding injuries
  • Communicating with an attacker
  • Understanding the will to survive

Instructor:  Michael Cotignola graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Criminology and an M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration. Mr. Cotignola has worked as a probation and parole officer for the Florida Department of Corrections since January 1995. He has worked through the ranks as a senior officer and currently works as a specialist dealing with sex offenders and violent offenders utilizing G.P.S. tracking. Mr. Cotignola is one of the lead instructors at the H.C.C. Law Enforcement Academy in the field of defensive tactics and use of force. He currently serves as the Lead Defensive Tactic Instructor in Tampa for F.D.C. Probation and Parole and also serves as a firearms instructor. In addition to this, he also teaches adjunct at Pasco Hernando Community College in the field of defensive tactics and has taught numerous self-defense classes to civilians and security guards.  In his spare time, he enjoys studying all types of martial arts and currently holds the rank of Black Belt in both Judo and Taekwondo.

Refund Policy:  Refunds, Cancellations & Substitutions

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