Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


May 6, 2014

Self-defense teaches women to fight, escape

GREENSBURG – Most women are sensible enough to realize that, in today’s world, a violent attacker could be lurking around each corner.

Master Shane Smith, owner of Smith Martial Arts, aims to teach women to protect themselves.

Smith, along with Decatur County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tony Blodgett and Indiana State Police Detective Dan Elmore, taught a women’s self-defense class Wednesday evening. Smith donated half the registration fees to local women’s shelter, New Directions. The class began with the three men explaining what they would be teaching and some various techniques to avoid a fight before it begins.

“I come to these to teach people how to protect themselves,” Blodgett said, adding that when people need the police the most, they are still minutes away.

While this is usually meant to be a slight against law enforcement, Blodgett admits the truth of it. When people are dialing 911, they are in some sort of danger. In that moment, police are still on the way to the scene and basic self-defense moves could provide those precious few moments to escape, potentially preventing a crime or being the difference between life and death.

According to Smith, one self-defense lesson raises awareness and puts a women on alert, but continuing to practice trains the body for how to move and develops muscle memory, which allows a woman to execute the techniques properly.

“It’s not hard,” Blodgett said. “But you have to practice it.”

Detective Elmore gave statistics for several nearby cities for how likely one is to be a victim of a violent crime to illustrate how the “crime rate has gone through the roof.” For example, one in 84 people are likely to be a crime victim in Indianapolis.

Smith, Blodgett and Elmore all stressed the importance of practicing situational awareness, or simply being aware of everything and everyone around oneself. Elmore advised everyone to “become aware of your situation, become aware of your surroundings.”

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