LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Women and children of all ages gathered at First Christian Church in Lake Charles for the first self defense class in the string of weekly classes at the church.
The classes are to help get the community in the know about predator awareness.
Organizer of the class schedule at First Christian, Carmen Morris said it's time to put an end to violent crimes against women and children.
"It's a rising problem. It's a rising issue," Morris said. "You can't go a single day anymore without hearing someone abducted, or somebody found, or somebody attacked and we really have to step forward."
Morris said she was able to get the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office to work with her and the owner and trainers at Performance Evolution, a mixed martial arts gym in Lake Charles.
Owner of Performance Evolution Josh Quayhagen said the main goal of the classes is not to just teach people about self defense, but to empower them.
"You can do anything if you believe in it and that's what we're trying to do, is to empower them and let them get going on the mission that they're not vulnerable, they're not weak and they're actually stronger and more driven than any attacker could be," Quayhagen said.
With a few simple tricks, students of the class learned that it's best to relax first if an attacker is approaching and use their weight against them.
"When they're attacking, they step to you and you strike. First it's a palm strike. It hits them in the face and it blinds them," Quayhagen said. "Secondly, strike to the groin or the mid-section which will get them to buckle over which is the finishing blow which is the knee to the face."
Quayhagen said the idea is to act scared in order to misdirect the attacker; use the fear as a cue to remember to act scared and then attack, according to Quayhagen.
The self defense classes will continue every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at First Christian Church in Lake Charles on 2nd Avenue.
Performance Evolution also offers self defense classes free to the public.