Whether home alone or in a secluded area, women often are in potentially dangerous situations without even realizing it. With that in mind, the York County Sheriff's Office teamed up with Recon Fitness Adventures recently to give women a free lesson on safety and self defense.
The awareness program was held at the Philip T. Glennon Community Center in Tega Cay. Lt. Brian Boling used his experience to teach women common sense tips and hands-on techniques.
"I've been doing self-defense instructions for years. This is just my thing," Boling said.
He has been a sheriff's deputy for 20 years and a part of the women's safety awareness and self defense program for a decade. Boling is a certified instructor and he adds his own pizzazz to the program.
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"I have fun with it and add humor. It just comes with my experience," he said.
The practical techniques he teaches help women learn basic defense skills while developing a more keen awareness for sensing danger before it's too late.
"I am going off to college this year and I know taking this program gave my parents and myself some confidence," attendee Katie Kozlowski said.
Kozlowski, along with many mothers and students, practiced Boling's simple tactics. Boling said this public service helps females feel confident in relying on themselves to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
"I want females to be confident. If they feel safe to get from place to place, it keeps them from being a victim," he said.
Boling taught the women how to look for signs of danger and how to react properly. Using his experience, Boling explained how to improvise a weapon, remain calm and stay one step ahead of the offender.
He showed defensive maneuvers for the women to use to escape from an attacker.
After teaching the basic nose jab, Boling taught the women how to kick shins and pinch the under arm. He also demonstrated how to escape when an offender grabs the back of the head and demonstrated how to escape from situations when the attacker is pinning the victim to the ground.
The cofounders of Recon Fitness Adventures, Jim Stalford and Duke Speed, hosted the program. Recon Fitness Adventures creates and develops athletic events. The facility - named for Speed's background in the military - offers a variety of activities for any age.
"Recon is really geared towards everybody, from public awareness programs and walks, to educational or challenging activities," Stalford said.
Stalford and Speed rely heavily on their Web site to promote activities and programs.
"Our most exciting event is the Mud Challenge on [Saturday] April 4," Stalford said. It's a team event and has eight kilometers worth of challenging obstacles.
Stalford is also looking forward to many other events in the making.
For further information on Recon Fitness Adventures or upcoming events, visit www.reconfitnessadventures.com, or call Jim Stalford at 817-456-0086 or Duke Speed at 803-322-2488.
The sheriff's office has approximately a dozen trained officers to teach the free safety awareness and self defense program. It's available to all women's organizations, from churches to colleges.
Anyone interested in this program can call York County Sheriff's Office at 803-628-3056. Ask for the training department.