Women learn self-defense moves in Bend

Sheriff's office offers self-defense class

Free womens selfdefense class

BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office offered a free women's self-defense class Tuesday night. 

Shoulder shrugs, rib cage protection and blocks are just a few moves several women learned at the sheriff's office in Bend. 

"They're going to learn anything from situational awareness to, 'Hey, don't walk around with your cellphone in your face.' Knowing where you parked your car -- maybe under a light vs.not," Deputy Kyle Turpen said. "It's just being aware of what's around you and your surroundings."

The free two-part is called "Power Curves," and it's open to any woman over the age of 14. 

"I think it's great for women to feel like they can own their own space or can walk in the dark if they need to and not be afraid," said class participant Laura Spaulding. "It teaches situational awareness, so you know what to avoid and what kind of situations not to get in."

Participants practice moves to guard against spontaneous attacks, the feeling of fight or flight, and by the second night, ladies will use what they've learned against a faux hitman. 

Turpen said the most important thing about the class is taking care of yourself. 

"Just be aware of those telltale signs and you could pick out (something) that could be occurring around you, maybe while you don't even know what's going on," Turpen said.

Spaulding said she feels you can't practice enough and the refreshers are really important. She also thinks the goal of learning self defense is to never have to use it. 

Turpen said the class is very basic and formatted so women can take home what they've learned and practice as much as possible.

Besides just physical covers, women will learn about visualizing a situation, what an attacker might look like, and focus on getting to safety, instead of engaging in the fight for a prolonged period of time.

Turpen also recommends women participate in the full two-day program, and said more classes will be offered after the holidays. 

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