By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Herman Peters, certified self-defense trainer and police officer sports coordinator, is teaching a basic, two-hour course of self-defense moves at the Starkville Sportsplex Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon. The class is free to the public.
Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Rye said the self-defense seminar will educate participants on personal protection, environmental awareness and practical self-defense techniques.
“Our aim is to teach some basic self-defense moves that can keep you and your family safe inside and outside your home, on a college campus and at leisure activities,” Rye said. “Whether you are in a group or all alone, this seminar is designed to give you the ability to respond effectively in a realistic attack situation.”
Rye said Saturday’s seminar will be a basic overview of some self-defense moves. For those interested in learning more, there will be a more in-depth series for six weeks made available for $30 or $5 a class.
“It’s that time of year when people start to exercise outside more and we just want to offer this class to the public so that they are prepared,” Rye said.
Peters said he started training in 1995, teaching direct care workers how to protect themselves from clients who show aggressive behavior.
“At that time I taught a technique called TMAB: Technique for Managing Aggressive Behavior,” Peters said. “After that I started at a local gym in Magee teaching a family self-defense class one night a week.”
Peters said he believes knowledge is power and will increase your general awareness, making you more conscious of what is going on around you.
“A basic knowledge of these weak and sensitive areas, mixed with some basic self-defense techniques and skills can help make you become very effective in defending yourself,” Peters said. “Self-defense techniques are not just the physical skills that you can use. They also include skills that will help avoid putting yourself in a situation of high danger in the first place.”
Herman said it is important for people to know that regardless of strength, size, age or previous training, anyone can learn several effective self-defense techniques.
“I have 15 nieces, four sisters and several church members that have inspired me to keep teaching this self-defense class,” Peters said. “I think it’s important.”
Peters said to dress in something loose and comfortable, and bring some water. Gym shoes should also be worn. Those interested can register for the class online at http://www.starkvilleparks.com  or the morning of the class at 9:45 a.m.
“We prefer that people use the online registration if possible so that we’ll know how many people to expect,” Peters said. “However, it’s not required, and we want everyone who wants to take advantage of this free class to come on out to the Sportsplex on Saturday morning and learn some basic self-defense moves that could help them one day.”