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Self-defense class to be held at Prospect UMC

COVINGTON — Last year, Tyra Canady’s friend was attacked in the parking lot of the Conyers Hobby Lobby. A man held her at knifepoint and attempted to abduct her and her grandchild. Thankfully, the woman had the presence of mind to scream and people nearby came to her rescue. The man was later apprehended.

Though the incident had a happy ending, it has weighed on Canady’s mind and she has become passionate about making sure women are educated on how to protect themselves. It’s what has prompted her to organize a women’s self-defense class at her church.

The class will be taught by Covington Police Department Capt. Ken Malcom and will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. July 20 at Prospect United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center. The church address is 6752 Ga. Highway 212, Covington. The class is free and open to the public. Registration is requested by calling 770-786-6303.

“I took the gun safety class with Ken and (Sgt.) Arvo Bowen. It was a great class. I enjoyed it … It kept weighing on my mind for a couple of weeks. I really want women to know what Ken taught us in that class,” Canady said.

The self-defense will focus on tactics women can use if attacked, and all tactics that are taught have been used successfully, Malcom said.

“With all the opportunities there are for females to be assaulted in different environments, it’s important to develop a series of strategies to escape that event,” Malcom said. “We go over situations, of course, to avoid, but mainly we go over what to do if you are in these situations. So we give participants options of how to escape an attack from a predator. Everything that is taught worked for other people. We cannot guarantee it will work for them, but there are techniques that have worked for other people.”

A dummy will be used for participants to practice on, Malcom said.

The classes are useful in preparing mentally for an attack.

“You’ve got to have a plan in place and you’ve got to believe in that plan. If you don’t believe in that plan, and you don’t have that positive of visualizing yourself surviving that assault and putting that plan into place, then you’re not going to win,” he said.

Malcom said there is no minimum age level for the class but that parents can use their discretion on the maturity of their child. Serious issues such as rape and sexual assaults are discussed, he said.

Self-defense classes are taught periodically at the Covington Police Department and for groups by request. For more information or to request a class, contact the CPD at 770-786-7605 or via Facebook or Twitter.

The class is being sponsored by Prospect UMC Social Concerns, the community outreach arm of the church. A light snack will be served afterward.