OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Some train to compete, others, for fitness. But there are some, who train for a very important reason - safety.
Instructors from Pruitt's Martial Arts spent Saturday teaching a class how to protect and defend themselves against any attacker. Derek Pruitt says his self-defense class at the Blossman YMCA teaches women how to escape danger.
"We don't make a guarantee," Pruitt said. "But honestly, with some good focus and about 15 minutes of class, you can pick up some good skills that will help you learn how to defend yourself," Pruitt said.
He mixes laughter in with the serious nature of the event, which he believes makes a big difference when women are deciding if they can or should take a class.
"It takes one step forward to come to the class, try it out. Once you kinda work the rust out, so to speak, it's natural. And then it becomes fun,"said Pruitt. "Self-defense, yes it's serious, but it is a fun environment and I believe any woman can do it."
Pruitt's wife Sara says she takes part in the classes because she has a family.
"I started originally with kickboxing, but then over the years we had children." Sara said. "I have three small children, and I'm not always with him. Sometimes I'm by myself with them. And so I feel like in the event that I need to, I can protect them."
Student Chelsea Butler believes all girls should be open to learning self-defense.
"It's great," Butler said. "I feel like, especially for girls, we feel smaller than everyone else, and this class makes you feel very big and empowered."
Pruitt's goal is to teach women how to escape in any situation.
"It's escaping," he said. "We don't necessarily teach all of our women to duke it out. If you have to, boxing/kickboxing, we can teach you that, but a lot of it is quick escapes, quick attacks to basically end that fight immediately without it prolonging."
The self defense class is from 10:30-12:30 at the Blossman Family YMCA in Ocean Springs.