Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.


Women learn self-defense tactics in day-long training


Las Cruces women aged 10-70 came together Oct. 22 to learn vital self-defense tactics as The Association and Gracie Barra Las Cruces Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self Defense (“Gracie Barra Las Cruces”) joined together “to create an invaluable experience for them,” The Association said in a news release.

“It’s unfortunate that this type of knowledge and training is necessary for women, but we’re grateful to

have partnered with Alyssa and Angela Benitez to help women learn to better defend themselves- just in case,” said Sumer Rose-Nolen, one of the Founders of The Association, a women’s professional development and networking group in Las Cruces.

“We had about 25 women at this one,” said Sylvia Washington of The Association. “We really encouraged our members to bring guests. We had four girls in middle school and two women over 65! It was impressive to see them adapting the techniques at all ages.”

The Association was referred Alyssa and Angela Benitez, owners of Gracie Barra Las Cruces, when they inquired as to who could help them execute this event, the news release said. The two have more than 35 years of Jiu Jitsu experience.

“Alyssa was thorough when teaching the maneuvers, being sure to start with the basics and build on

them piece-by-piece for ease of understanding and execution on behalf of the participants,” The Association said.

“I wanted to be sure that each woman understood her strength and power as we went through each move,” Alyssa Benitez said. “It’s easy to think that you don’t stand much of a chance against an assailant who is obviously larger than you. But, when you realize there are ways to utilize your body parts in unexpected ways, like elbows instead of fists, you realize that strategy can triumph over size,” she said.

The Gracie Barra facility regularly teaches a self-defense class, but it has long been a dream of Alyssa’s

to get the course more into the community, the news release said.

“We’d love to partner with more women’s groups and the university,” Alyssa Benitez said. “The more women we can reach, the more women we can give a fighting chance.”

Call 575-234-1404. Visit https://graciebarra.com/.

Women's Self Defense