CRESTVIEW — More than 20 Crestview women attended a free women's self-defense course on Saturday at Gordon Martial Arts.
The event, instructed by Thomas Gordon and fellow martial arts instructors, featured presentations from North Okaloosa Medical Center’s Healthy Woman program and Crestview Police Officer Sam Kimmons.
Kimmons advised the group on what to do before, during and after rape. One preventive measure was reasoning with the attacker or telling him or her that you have a sexually transmitted disease.
Though rape rarely occurs within city limits, self-defense is crucial, he said.
"If we can mentally prepare them for this type of situation, they will respond much better, should it occur," Kimmons said. "Mental preparedness is the number one key."
Instructors identified several pressure points on the human body that can be used against an attacker. They also showed quick maneuvers to use if someone tries to grab them.
For instance, applying pressure to a large person’s nose can bring them down to size.
"Pressure points are fantastic," Kurt Torgerson said. "It equalizes size."
Sedrie Ashley found it comforting to know that anyone could defend himself or herself.
"It’s nice to know that there are a lot of moves where I don't have to put my whole weight into," she said. "This has made me more cautious about my own safety."
Samantha Torgerson said the moves can empower people.
"... I think that being able to protect myself is very important," she said. "You have to use common sense when defending yourself and not to give in."
Gordon plans to have another self-defense course.
"I wanted to see what the interest was. Because it was so good I plan to have another one in the next five to six weeks," Gordon said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.