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Learn Self Defense for Life at Cormier’s Self Defense Academy

by Jennifer Batog

Jim Cormier, owner of Cormier’s Self Defense Academy on Jeffrey Ave., believes all women, and even young girls, need to be skilled in the art of self-defense. “From the time they are teens, girls should be involved in some sort of self-defense program,” he said. “Being strong, being assertive is not enough. You’ve got to have a skill.”

Cormier has been teaching martial arts, including self-defense, since 1987. In his nearly 30 years as an instructor, he has taught more women than men strictly self-defense, although the classes aren’t specifically tailored to women.  There has been a noticeable uptick in women looking to learn self-defense in the last few years as reports of violence against women, notably on college campuses, has been more in the public eye. “It doesn’t matter who you are,” he said. “There’s abuse everywhere.”

Cormier offers private classes, group classes, and sessions for businesses. He is available for sessions at businesses or a series of classes for employees over a lunch hour.  Students can come for one session or a series of sessions. Learning the different levels of self-defense is critical for all women, Cormier said. And there’s more to self-defense that just learning martial arts moves. It includes confidence, attitude, using common sense and having the ability to stave off fear if there is an attack.

(Karen Audouin, Cultural Care Au Pair, receiving a personalized self defense class with her au pairs.)

“It’s great to be in shape,” Cormier said, “but it’s the fear,” that can render one frozen when faced with an attacker. Besides key self-defense moves, Cormier’s classes focus on teaching women to be aware of their surroundings, to walk and stand with confidence and use common sense – such as constantly checking surroundings while walking with a cell phone when walking alone, walking with keys in hand and ready to unlock the car and checking the car’s backseat before getting in.  

Cormier teaches simple striking motions to ward off a would-be attacker and to keep an attacker from getting too close. He also teaches students how to react to different scenarios. For example, if an attacker comes at a woman from behind and tries to get her in a bear hug, she can step to the side, try and hit him in the groin and relax and deadweight her body.   There’s also one that he calls “the pledge of allegiance technique.” If an attacker is facing a would be victim and trying to grab her chest, throat or shoulder with his right hand, placing the right hand over the heart traps the attacker’s hands. The woman can then trap the attacker’s hand and utilize body movement to escape from the grip. (Right, Students learn self defense in a supportive and friendly environment).

Cormier also uses some striking techniques, teaching self-defense students how to effectively strike an attacker’s throat, groin, face or shins.  His techniques are primarily based on the art of jujutsu, which uses an attacker’s own body weight against him. 

The key to effectively using the self-defense techniques Cormier teaches is to practice them. Most people only remember about 10 to 25 percent of what they learned in a two-hour class unless its put into practice, he said.  “It’s like playing the piano,” Cormier said. “If you don’t take it home and practice it, self-defense techniques will not be as effective when the need arises” .

To schedule a self-defense class and to learn more, please contact Jim Cormier at 508.429.6688 or  For more information about Cormier’s Self Defense Academy and its self-defense and martial arts programs, please visit


Students learn self defense in a supportive and friendly environment.

Comments (1)

This is certainly a great article as women seem to be more and more at risk days. It is a sad commentary on our nation, but it is a fact. Jim is a very dedicated owner and teacher. I am very thankful that he is so passionate about teaching others to protect themselves!

Susan Hill | 2016-06-28 15:15:22