D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - After a woman was sexually assaulted on the Biloxi Bay Bridge last week, a local gym is offering a free self-defense class, hoping to educate more women on how to protect themselves if they're ever attacked.
Knowing self-defense is a valuable skill to have, but the classes can be expensive and time consuming.
"I know a lot of people don't have access to it or can't fit it into their schedule full time. At least in this one lesson, they will have a few tools in their arsenal to get them through some common situations," said Michael Sanford, who is an instructor.
Alan Belcher MMA teaches two free self-defense classes each year, but after a woman was recently attacked while alone at night, they decided to add another class before the end of the year.
Sanford says a common misconception about self-defense is that some people believe eye gouging or groin kicks are enough to protect them from an attack.
"Think about it like this. If you're a parent or have siblings and somebody you love is getting attacked right next to you, if somebody kicks you in the groin or pokes you in the eye, is that going to stop you from fighting from them," said Sanford.
Monica Medina is an instructor and student at the gym who was once afraid to be alone at night, but not anymore.
"I feel really safe anywhere I go. Walking around, if anybody comes up at me, I feel like I can protect myself no matter what. It feels really good to know that I have the skills and the confidence to defend myself whenever necessary," said Medina.
While knowing these defense techniques may not prevent an attack, they can certainly make you feel more confident if the situation were to ever arise.
The class is scheduled for Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Alan Belcher MMA in D'Iberville. You can contact Alan Belcher MMA at 228-396-4662.