After years on offense, Gugerty and The Boxing Club keep ladies on defense

As her partner’s body shadows her, Corinne Amir’s mind goes through the motions.

Feet on the hips. Slide out. Heel to the face. 

Grab the arm. Cross the legs. Tie the knot. 

Softly this time….and wait for the tap. I can’t make the gal I just met pass out in front of this crowd.

It’s only after Corinne turns what looks like a badly kneaded piece of dough into a fine tuned triangle choke that she learns why it came so easily to the teacher that gave her the keys to literal survival.

He made 11 men tap out to moves just like it in ring and cages across the country.

"You can see where their training comes in," Amir said. "

Shannon Gugerty is no joke. Years of service time as a black-belt laden fighter can prove that. But you wouldn’t guess the steel resolve after seeing the smile flash across his face. 

That’s the smile he uses to teach this group of 25 that’s flooded The Boxing Club in UTC on a Saturday morning. Young girls, college students, parents – and a couple males in between – ready to learn how to defend themselves.

The ladies softly chuckle through hand holds, arm bars and body rolls. Education and humor intertwine.

Until the steel underneath that smile leaks through a single line told before the triangle choke comes to play.

"80 percent of assaults happen from someone you know," he proclaims with a straight face.

His female model lies on the floor. The male models shadows her. 

He doesn’t have to explain where they are. You can tell. The silence thickens the room.

"There’s a cage when I fight, but there are no rules when it’s an attacker outside," Gugerty says after class has ended. "We could bend back fingers, or poke someone in the eye."

The attendants know there are no rules, too. One family inside the gym is from Scripps Ranch, a location that’s learned how scary abduction can be as of late.

"There were a couple attempted kidnappings where we live," Aryana Boostani said. "My mom wanted us to be safe and prepared.

Eric brought his daughter Lindsay for the same reasons.

"Knowledge is power," Eric said.

"I kind of liked beating him up," Lindsay added. 

Hopefully it stays fun and games with dad for know. Gugerty remains in case it doesn’t.

"If I had a daughter, I’d want her in self defense," Gugerty says. "It’s amazing watching all these young girls who came out."

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