MOULTON — Movement beats strength.
That lesson, among others, was illustrated by local law enforcement officials during a women’s self defense clinic held Saturday at Moulton Gun Club. The clinic included hand-to-hand combat tips as well as a component that taught women how to escape the clutches of an attacker.
“We’re trying to teach them different self-defense techniques so they can protect themselves if they are put into different holds, choke holds, if someone gets on top of them or if someone tries to rape them,” St. Marys Police Sgt. Jake Sutton told The Evening Leader. “We’re trying to show them how to protect themselves so they can get out of it.”
Approximately 35 women of all ages took to the mats to learn how to remove an attacker who has them pinned down as well as a slew of other scenarios. Sutton said any woman would benefit from taking the clinic — which is offered throughout the year.
“I’ve taught people all the way up in their 80s,” Sutton said. “Even if they don’t do the techniques, they can learn from it just in case they are in a bad situation and at that point they can do something to help themselves.”
In addition to showing the women how to escape an attacker who has them pinned down, Sutton and the other officers taught them how to escape front chokes, rear chokes as well as bear hugs. As the participants practiced each move, Sutton said those in attendance seemed to enjoy the lessons.
“I think they love it because they find out it’s so easy,” Sutton said. “It’s very easy to protect yourself and that’s what’s important. We don’t make it hard and technical so the easier we make it, the easier it is to remember it so they can use it in the real world if they have to.”
In the wake of the recent string of home invasions in the region, Sutton said he has noticed an increased emphasis on protection from local residents.
“In our area, because it’s mostly rural, a problem is complacency,” Sutton said. “People think that’s not going to happen to me. I know they just recently had a purse snatching in Wapak — those things happen. So I think them realizing that these things can happen and I can protect myself and it’s very easy — I think that’s what is important.”
The clinic also featured a session on shooting firearms. Participants learned how to fire a shotgun, a pistol and a semi-automatic handgun.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are going to familiarize them with weapons,” Sutton said.
“So even if they have some in the house and they had to use it, they are going to be familiar with it. But even outside of this, they are going to need a lot more training and make sure they practice with it so they are much more comfortable with it.”
The St. Marys Police Department used to host the self-defense portion and the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office hosted the shooting aspect. Sutton said the two events merged and turnout increased.
“Get a hold of us and we can put you on a waiting list,” Sutton said. “We’ll probably do another one in late summer. With the popularity of them, we’ll be putting more on.”
The event was sponsored by Moulton Gun Club, Berlet Farm Service, Auglaize County Extension Office, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Auglaize County FOP, Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, Wapakoneta Police Department, St. Marys Police Department, SQS Automotive and Subway (Indiana Avenue).