Spokane County Sheriff’s Office offers women the chance to learn self defense from the experts

Often when people take self defense classes, they believe it’s all about the physical tactics. If you’re taking a class at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, it all comes down to awareness.

Elizabeth Nelson, like many woman, feared walking to her car alone.

“I live in a kind of tough area so sometimes you have to keep an eye out while you’re walking,” she explained.

She would wonder about what she would do if someone tried to attack her. At the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Introduction to Women’s Self Defense class, she got her answer.

“They are coming here to learn how to be aware and alert in their environment,” said class instructor Deputy Wade Nelson.

By changing a few things in your routine – from where you park your car to how you do your morning run- you can avoid dangerous situations.

Carrying your purse a certain way, is taught to make women less susceptible to becoming a victim of violence. Deputy Nelson says to place it on your shoulder, and keep a grip on the handles. That way, if someone does come up and try to steal it from you, you can engage in a tug of war with them and if it gets too dangerous, let go.

During the class, Deputy Nelson shows participants how wearing a purse across your body can be turned in to a weapon against you, even if you think it looks safer.

“They could come up from behind you, grab both straps, yank up and around your neck,” he said. “And this can make you go unconscious within seven seconds.”

The last part of the class is for hands-on self defense maneuvers, like escaping an attack from behind.

In 18 years with the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Nelson has seen how easy it is for someone to become a victim, and by teaching this course, how simple it is to protect yourself.

“It just cuts your chances of becoming a victim down every time,” he added.

“I think that it made me more aware that I could actually maybe, possibly get away or something smarter,” said Elizabeth Nelson, who recently graduated the class.

The next classes will be held on May 19 at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Training Center. To sign up, send an email with your name and the names and emails of participants. The fee is $35 per person.