MOULTON — Would-be attackers may want to tread a little lighter in Auglaize County from now on.
After a self-defense training class given to 38 women at the Moulton Gun Club Saturday, they might want to reconsider all together.
Members of the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with law enforcement officers with the Wapakoneta and St. Marys Police departments as well as with officials from the Ohio State University Extension Office and the Moulton Gun Club to offer a women’s self-defense class which saw the biggest turnout ever.
“We were very happy with the turnout we had,” said Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Sgt. Mike Eberle, who handled the shooting portion of the training. “”We had never had a big turnout for the shooting classes. This time we combined the self-defense and the shooting and we had a great turnout.”
During the morning portion of the event, St. Marys police officer Jake Sutton instructed the attendees in several forms of self-defense. Some of the defense measures taught in the class included the wrist breakaway, the trachea notch push off, the finger twist, the groin slap and grab, ankle shin and groin kicks, and the in-step stomp.
Several of the women taking the class said they came away with a lot more knowledge on how to protect themselves.
Darlene Shick, who is a realtor from Indian Lake, said it is good training to have during these tough economic times.
“A lot of agents have been at-risk because of repossessions,” Shick said. “I learned a lot of tricks that you can use to defend yourself and you don’t have to be 200 pounds to do them.”
Jessica Mahoney, a case worker at the Auglaize County Crisis Center, said the training paid off.
“We learned a lot of tricks that could be beneficial,” Mahoney said.
As each tactic was taught, Sutton would demonstrate each one on another volunteer and then the women would partner up and practice or practice on the volunteer, who was decked out in protective gear.
Sutton said he was happy to see the large turnout for the PROTECT, or Preventative Response Options and Tactically Effective Counter-Techniques, presentation.
He said the main thing they are trying to teach the women at the lessons is how to react in a situation.
“It is important that they react and not freeze and become an easy target,” Sutton said. “We all are in public parking lots and public restrooms, and this is where most attacks take place. We are giving them the knowledge and the ability to try and protect themselves.”
Eberle said most of the women had not ever shot a handgun, but they were quick learners.
“Quite a few had never shot before,” Eberle said. “But they all did very well and none of them were scared at all.”