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Today's Family Magazine

The Cleveland Female Anti-Violence Initiative opens office in Willoughby

Aug 27, 2019 04:38PM

Charles Smith (far left) demonstrates self-defense techniques to women in a private class. Group classes are also available for kids, teens and adults.

The Cleveland Female Anti-Violence Initiative (CFAVI), a nonprofit organization that teaches females of all ages real-world self-defense through live instructor training, recently opened an office in Willoughby.  The CFAVI uses unique training scenarios and “personal combatives,” a system developed by former police officer and Executive Director/Founder Charles Smith, to help class participants prevent and survive abduction, sex trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and robbery.

“Our goal is to provide a positive learning environment where students will leave empowered to protect themselves,” says Smith. “Our classes are unique because we not only teach personal combative self-defense, but also teach how to use fear to your advantage, situational awareness, the psychology behind self-defense, and we myth-bust common self-defense practices that don’t work, as well as touch on laws related to protecting yourself,” he adds.

The Cleveland Female Anti-Violence Initiative offers adult self-defense, self-defense for kids, active shooter/intruder planning, a real estate safety course, and corporate classes.  Students can choose either a one-day, eight-hour class or a 10-week course that meets two times a week for two hours.  CFAVI can accommodate both individual classes and group classes up to 100 participants.

Charles Smith is a retired sergeant from a local police agency.  He decided he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement at a young age after experiencing the impact that violence had on family members and friends.  After leading a warrant fugitive task force for the last seven years of his career, he saw a need for real-world self-defense training, particularly for women in the Cleveland area, and founded the Cleveland Female Anti-Violence Initiative.

Smith currently holds a 5th degree black belt in personal combatives, 3rd degree black belt in karate and 1st degree black belts in Tae Kwan Do, Krav Maga and Aikido.  He has also trained under former commandos of The Israeli Defense Force (IDF).  During his career, he served as a chief instructor and was responsible for training SWAT and narcotics units, and was also responsible for in-service training.  Additionally, he is a professional bodyguard who was trained by the U.S. Secret Service Presidential Protection Unit. Known as a leading authority, Smith was sought after to train police officers across Cuyahoga County.

For more information visit www.cafvi.org.