APWC NEWS Self-Defense Program – Learn to Protect Yourself

Apr 4, 2024 | Tips and Tricks

by Karen Warlitner 

Anyone attempting to harm a member of the AP Women’s Club will certainly rue that day! Sergent Kendall Harrell and Officer Preston Ward of the Perquimans Sheriff’s Office delivered a direct, hands-on (literally) self-defense program to an attentive membership on March 13. The group, “breathed a sigh of relief” upon learning that no volunteers would be necessary for the in-depth demonstration. Officer Ward played the role of the “attacker” with Sgt. Harrell defending while instructing. 

Every day, in every situation, be self-aware. Self-Defense is best when you “Don’t Make it Complicated.” Sgt. Harrell shared that too often self-defense programs include complicated maneuvers which the average person does not remember in times of crises when emotions are high. The physical reactions of increased heat rate, sweaty palms, and racing thoughts interfere with maneuvers that are not part of muscle memory or are second nature. If the villain succeeds in getting a purse or car, fine, that is not important – take the opportunity to get away. Your safety is the goal. But if bodily harm is intended, “all bets are off.” 

You may be physically challenged, compared to an attacker, but he/she is not invincible. The basics work! Fingers are damaging to the eyes and nose; a hand in claw formation is a great weapon to the face; the fist is powerful to the nose, face, and ears; the foot is excruciating to the shin if you kick or scrape; the elbow is a sledgehammer to the face, ears, and head; and the side of the hand straight to the throat can be staggering. Repositioning your body can provide more intense effects for all strikes. Your goal is not to defeat the attacker; the goal is to distract them or redirect their actions/attention to their injuries so that you can escape. 

As evident by the engagement of both Sgt. Harrell and Officer Ward, this subject truly hit the mark. Numerous questions regarding proposed scenarios and specific North Carolina laws continued well into lunch. 

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