DOWNTOWN — In the wake of a security guard getting punched in the face by a drunken man captured in a now infamous video, a Chicago jiu-jitsu academy is offering free self defense classes to any security guard who wants to learn.
Idriz Redzovic, a co-owner at Redzovic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, said he's already had security guards contacting the academy to take it up on its offer.
He was inspired to offer the free classes after learning about Zoa Stigler, a 46-year-old woman who was working as a security guard in River North when a man punched her in her face.
Stigler had been trying to help the vomiting man before the Sunday attack. The punch left her with broken bones and in need of surgery. Matthew DeLeon has been charged with battery in the incident.
"She was just doing a basic job, cleaning up the sidewalk, and for someone to do that really bothered me," Redzovic said. "It's a really bad way to go about hurting someone."
The self-defense classes offered at Redzovic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu could help keep other security guards from being injured, Redzovic hopes. He's also trying to reach Stigler so he can offer her a place in the classes, hoping it can help rebuild her confidence.
Security guards who take the academy up on its offer will be able to get a month of free self-defense classes, Redzovic said. The classes don't focus exclusively on things like punches and kicks, he said, and they're designed to teach a person how to be able to beat someone twice their size.
"There are small, basic, fundamental things you can implement right away so people don't get hurt," Redzovic said.
If there's enough interest, Redzovic said the offer could "snowball" into more and they could have once-weekly classes dedicated to security guards. The offer could help "make the world a better place," he said.
Any security guard interested in the glasses can call the academy as 773-334-5189. The academy has locations in The Loop, Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square.