GALLIPOLIS — PALS Gallia County and Southern Ohio Krav Maga held a self-protection and awareness demonstration Friday afternoon in order to introduce PALS clients to techniques and information designed to both inform and guard them from individuals who might take advantage of them.
“A few years ago I met (Scott King) who was bringing Krav Maga into the area,” said PALS Gallia County Director David Price. “We sat down and had lunch one day and we blended together our two worlds. I told Scott about the demographic we serve. It statistically has a high rate of being taken advantage of. So we came up with a program (adapted to the clients).”
A customized program both King and Price discussed was aimed at educating clients in knowing when they were being taken advantage of, handling bullies and what to do in emergency situations, along with some defensive techniques.
“He’s teaching them to be assertive and advocate for themselves,” said Price.
King at one point in the demonstration would use the example of asking to see someone’s cell phone and then walk off with it. He asked the crowd if that was appropriate behavior. Clients responded no and King told them they were right. If someone was attempting to walk off with their property, they should tell someone to stop. King encouraged clients that the best way to avoid trouble was to not be there and to walk or run from it.
“It’s about helping learn where boundaries are,” said Price.
“I’ve never done a program like this,” said King. “I viewed it as a challenge and we said ‘How are we going to do it?’ So, what we did was talk about self-protection, and once we identified that avenue, it just flowed. We figured we’d start at the basics and talk about what’s good and bad and then move into situational awareness. We talk about ways to protect yourself and cover up, like the wall or the turtle shell (techniques).”
“They feel empowered after he leaves,” said Price. “I get to see the effects for the next few weeks where they are two inches taller. You can really tell a difference.”
Price said King would return again for another session with the clients as they looked forward to the classes.
PALS Gallia seeks to serve clients with developmental disabilities and introduce them to a life of independence and equality as they interact with the community in the everyday.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.