Rochester, N.Y. -- Recent attacks on women in Central New York and close to Rochester have sparked a renewed interest in self-defense courses for women. Phone calls have been flooding into Randy Crudup's martial arts studio. Callers want self-defense training.
"They are looking for their young children, their daughters or themselves," said Crudup.
Some of his veteran students say the training pays off.
"I definitely feel a lot safer," said Ally Tylock, an East Ridge High School student. "It's a very good skill set.
Crudup is in the midst of planning a new self-defense that will be offered to the public for free. The course is designed to teach women how to escape attackers, not stand and fight them.
"She's not Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, your main objective is to get free," said Crudup.
Another martial arts studio gaining interest in fresh defense classes is the United Martial Arts Center in Victor.
"If you can look at the positive aspect--if anything--a rash of attacks--it does raise people's awareness," explained John Ingallina of UMAC.
One of his longtime students joined in part because of the death of her dear friend.
"I had a friend that was kidnapped and murdered about 20-some-odd-years-ago," said Jennifer Pearson.
The friend was 28-year-old Jennifer Koon; a St. John Fisher student who was murdered in 1993.
"It really made it important for me to learn about self defense and martial arts," said Pearson.
Ingallina is hoping to hold a self-defense class in late April. It is being planned specifically because of the recent demand for more courses. The class is not free.