By: Jeff Smith, Scottbluff Star Herald
A class which will give tips and training, so people of all ages will be able to protect themselves in future incidents is being held in Scottsbluff this Saturday.
The classes will cover self defense, anti-bullying and anti-abduction techniques.
Shawn Whittington, senior instructor at 88 Tactical, will be teaching the classes along, with other instructors from the facility. 88 Tactical is an organization that prides itself on elite training focused on helping families, individuals and other groups develop the confidence and ability to deal with any situation or crisis.
Whittington has been a self-defense instructor for more than a decade and has developed, as well as teaches, his own curriculum. Trevor Thrasher, Chief Operating Officer for 88 Tactical, said that in the primal defense series, people will be able to make use of their own intimidation, understand when they are at risk, and respond verbally and non-verbally when they believe they are in danger.
“There’s as much about training to be assertive, body posture and non-verbal and verbal language to control a situation rather than fighting, which is the smallest aspect of it,” said Thrasher.
Thrasher said that there is at least one version of the course that will be held every week through 88 Tactical.
Mike Johnson, owner of Heartland Tactical, LLC., has decided to host the group for the training because of the rising crime rate and what has been taking place in the community.
Johnson said that people can’t plan on an attack but they can take preventative measures to stop it. He described the class as providing necessary skills for the community to learn.
“People need to not be so naive to the fact that bad things happen to good people,” said Johnson.
The goal is for the youth to realize the importance of being aware of their surroundings and give everybody necessary training based on their age range.
“It’s nice to have this kind of approach, the no-frills approach. Taekwondo and karate might be able to teach some things where the belt or the next level is the goal, but they don’t have the situational awareness and de-escalating an attack,” said Johnson.
Johnson said this class is a more realistic representation of what could happen in an attack.
He said that preventative measures are what people have to think about today because reactive measures might be too late.
“Most attacks can be avoided if people can see it,” said Johnson.
He said that a lot of today’s youth will be checking their phone and not be paying attention. The class is meant to prepare the mind and get people to keep their eyes open when people are walking.
Johnson visited the training facility in Tekamah, Nebraska, which turned an old hunting lodge into a training facility for civilians all the way up to special forces in the military. Johnson himself took a course through the facility. He said that the facilities are wonderful and the staff there is top-notch and have an immense amount of experience. Many of the staff themselves have been police officers or have been in the military themselves.
“All of them have great depth of experience with inter-personal violence. They are able to share how they have prevailed in an encounter and what they encountered,” said Thrasher.
The classes on Saturday will be held at the Platte Valley Conference Rooms, 1110 Circle Dr., in Scottsbluff.
The first class is for children 6 to 11 years old and give training on situational awareness, protecting personal space and possessions, confidence building, warning signs or stranger danger, as well as other topics. This will cost $55.
The other class is teen primal defense. Johnson said that the main thing in this class is about the escalation of attack and defense against the attacks. This is for people 12 to 17 years old and costs $65.
The last class will also cost $65 and is a women’s primal defense class. Students of this class will be able to assess danger, set boundaries and respond effectively to verbal and physical aggression. This class is for women age 17 and up.
The children’s class, Kid’s anti-bullying and anti-abduction training is from 8-11 a.m. on March 5 with the teen’s Primal Self Defense class following from noon to 4 p.m. The last class, Women’s Primal Self Defense is in the evening from 5-9 p.m.
The classes have limited seating as the first class is partially filled but the second and third classes still have 10-15 spots open.
Payment in advance is recommended because of the limited size of the classes.