Special Report: Fighting Off

"I am a big believer in starter personal protection, self protection, at a young age and that's part of our bully proof program that we have taught at a lot of schools in this area," says Pardue.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - It's a reality we face daily, the threat of violence from a physical attack. Some feel safer with their conceal and carry, but there are alternatives. Tom Pardue, a 40 year veteran of martial arts, says a few self-defense techniques are all we need to stay safe.

"I'm not anti-gun. I don't mean that by any means, but that is a conscience decision you have to make. 97% of all threats can be handled with sub-level force," says Pardue.

Pardue's East West Kung Fu Academy offers lessons he says everyone can learn in under two hours. He brought me in and took me to the floor to show off some of the basics.

"You throw a roundhouse movement. I'm going to block. This is a great movement for smaller people and women to reinforce. I'm going to come here and push your head that way and go into here. That's awful isn't it? And then move you down and move you back again," said Pardue.

Not all attacks are physical. The techniques change drastically the moment a firearm is involved.

"When people point guns at you it's a whole different world. When you point this at me and say give me your wallet I am going to give you my wallet. If you give me some alternative where you say, "Hold your hands up I am going to take your daughter, hold your hands up you are coming with me" then I am going to do something else. I'm going to move from here. I've got this distance working with me. I don't want to do this because the people around me are at risk. But I am going to do this. I am going to take this and move back. I'm not going to do what I want to do, but I am going to move away from it," says Pardue.

More than 30 people attend self-defense classes at East West Kung Fu every week. Chad Winn, a detective with the Kentucky State Police, heads one of those classes. While the moves look painful they are used in rare situations.

"At anytime anybody can be a victim. But the first step to self defense is awareness. I believe if you are aware of your surroundings and aware of situations and able to keep out of the situation to begin with that's the first step of self-defense," says Winn.

In a day and age where violence tops the headlines students say they have turned to self-defense for added protection.

"You know I do feel a lot safer. What got me interested was a school shooting way back and I just started college and you know this could happen anywhere," says Cody Jenkins.

Learning defensive moves isn't just for adults, schools are using techniques for children. Pardue offers classes, teaching kids what to do when a bully may come their way.

"I am a big believer in starter personal protection, self protection, at a young age and that's part of our bully proof program that we have taught at a lot of schools in this area," says Pardue.

It may be tough for some parents to watch these kids in action, but like their adult counterparts, instructors caution children the moves are a last resort.

"A lot of schools have zero tolerance right now. Bullying is a huge factor and a big issue. So are you the attacker or the defender we try to keep our kids out of that," says instructor Aaron Marcum.

WEB EXTRA: More from the one on one lession


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