Self-Defense Classes Arm Green Country Women Against Violent Attackers

Monday, September 23rd 2013, 11:05 pm
By: News On 6

When a criminal attacks, how a victim responds in those first few seconds can be the difference between life and death.

I interview a lot of victims who tell me, in that moment, they are so scared, they can't even think straight, let alone act.

I attended a 12-hour class offered by Sand Springs police teaches women how to spot and avoid bad situations, but also teaches basic moves the average woman can use to fight off an attacker.

"We're not teaching boxing, we're teaching to win and fight dirty," said Casey King.

Sgt. Shannon Newman, with Sand Springs Police, and Cherokee Nation Marshal Casey King taught us how to recognize a threat and respond to it more quickly.

They say having the element of surprise is key, since most attackers don't expect a woman to fight back, especially with the goal to hurt them.

"You're not going to go toe-to-toe with somebody who outweighs you by 100 pounds, you're gonna do all the mean and dirty tricks you've got to, to get away safely," Sgt. Newman said.

Yelling makes sure you keep breathing, because some people hold their breath when they get scared. It also lets other people know you are in trouble.

We also learned what to do if we're being choked during an attack, even how to fight back when the worst happens and we're knocked to the ground and he's coming in with a haymaker knockout punch.

"If I really want to get down there and take it, I'm gonna have to earn it," King said.

Once we'd learned awareness, avoidance and fighting back techniques, it was time to put them to the test. King got in a padded suit and we were each given a scenario. Mine was walking on the trail.

Casey King: "Have you girls seen a dog?"
Lori Fullbright: "Stay back."
Casey King: "Hey, I know you."
Lori Fullbright: "No, you don't, stay back."
Casey King: "C'mere."
Lori Fullbright (attacking): "No, No, No."

Even though it was a simulation, the nerves and adrenalin hit, causing Tammi Dole-Lee to hesitate when she was first grabbed.

"That first second, I got scared, then it just kicked in, everything they taught us," Dole-Lee said.

6/28/2013 Related Story: Police Make Arrest In Attempted Rape At Sand Springs Jogging Trail

She's a runner and, after hearing a woman was nearly raped on the running path, she signed up for the class and is now more confident about protecting herself. She said she wants her teenage daughter to take it, too.

Karen McFarland signed up after hearing one of my safety talks. She said she's learned she doesn't have to be a victim.

"There's always going to be bad guys, always going to be bad guys, but we can have less victims. We can win, we can come out on top," McFarland said.

The instructors say this isn't the end all-be all in self defense training, but it is a first step to knowing when and how to fight back in order to save yourself from someone determined to hurt you.

Of course, the best way to win a fight, is to never get into one in the first place.

This class is taught by the Sand Springs Police, but the same class is offered in a few other places in Green Country.

Go here to find out where and how to sign up.

The Sand Springs class is free. Some places charge a small fee, but there's a lifetime return policy, where anyone can go back for a refresher any time, at no charge.