TWAW In The News

Special Report: Arming Yourself, Self-Defense Options for Women – FOX6 WBRC Birmingham, AL

Posted: Feb 01, 2015 9:47 PM MSTUpdated: Feb 01, 2015 11:15 PM MST

Shderia Thompson Annette Peagler

PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) –

In a society where women are now taking on many responsibilities, some unfortunately, lack the knowledge to protect themselves from danger.

There are many resources in the Jackson metro area for women to learn how to get out of a dangerous situation.

At Ridgeland Taekwondo America, most women like Susan Rodriguez walk in as amateurs.

“To know what to be aware of and know how to protect myself in certain situations,” said Rodriguez.

Initially the self-defense class she took was just something fun to do with her girlfriends, but now it has turned into a full hobby for her.

“What we learn are very simple and easy techniques that anybody can really do you don’t have to be tough, you don’t have to fight. He just teaches you to get out of situations,” Rodriguez explained.

Dennis Conway, owner and instructor at Ridgeland Taekwondo America, says there are simple things you can do to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

“You have to be aware of your surroundings, keep your head up, keys in hand,” Conway said.

If someone does attack, and grabs your arm, first move – turn towards the thumb.

“You want to turn towards the thumb in a circle motion, see if you go the other way it goes to the fingers and it’s actually strengthening their grip,” Conway explained.

The most sensitive spots on a person are the eyes, nose, groin, solar plexus and the throat.

Conway says a great move to attack some of those areas is the elbow strike.

You can also use your keys as a weapon. Always carry one of the key rings around your middle finger. If someone attacks, use those keys to do the next move, the palm heel strike.

“Palm heel is when you push them straight in the face using the palm of your hand,” Conway said. “So you’re trying to hit them in the nose, right there and when you do that something might get in their eye and scratch them, skin and stuff on it.”

“It’s an automatic habit now to make sure I carry my keys before coming out to the store and going to my car,” said Rodriguez.

You can also protect yourself by packing heat.

“When I get up it’s part of like putting on my watch,” said Kim Condon, who is the chapter president for the Clinton-Raymond Chapter of Well-Armed Woman, an organization aimed to teach women how to shoot. They contract services from Boondocks Firearms Training Academy. Condon is also NRA certified.

“Treat them all as if they are loaded. Keep your finger off the trigger when you’re manipulating your gun, when you’re choosing your gun until you’re ready to fire, know what your target is,” Condon explained.

Condon, who’s been professionally shooting for 2.5 years, says with the proper training, being armed is the best way to protect yourself.

“Women to me need to start out with a smaller caliber type gun like a 22. So that you don’t get the recoil,” said Condon.

She taught our reporter, Annette Peagler, some of the basics. Then Peagler put those skills to the test.

“A lot of women are scared of the gun, but the gun is not what kills you it’s the person who has it,” said Officer Brad Burns with the Clinton Police Department.

Burns, who also teaches self-defense classes, encourages women to get some type of firearms training. Burns also says there are things you can do now to prevent you from being a target to criminals.

“People have been watched, they know where they are going, they know when they leave the house, and they know coming home they know all this stuff. Change it up a little bit, change your times, your routines, your routes,” Burns explained.

The best thing to do is to trust your instincts, and get some type of training like Rodriguez, you never know when you’ll be in a life or death situation.

“It gives you a little more confidence to know that you’re just not waiting for something to happen and not knowing how to handle it depending on others around you to get you out of that situation,” Rodriguez explained.

Ridgeland Taekwondo offers a free self-defense class for women every November. The Art of Taekwondo has a free class for women on the first Monday of every month. Plus, the Clinton Police Department has free self-defense classes every few months as well. If you are interested in joining The Well-Armed Woman Shooting Chapter contact Kim Condon at or join

If you are interested in taking classes at the Boondocks Firearms Training Academy call them at 769-972-2382 or go to their website


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