Police sergeant schools women in easy, yet effective means of self-defense

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Women in Blue Springs are prepping to protect themselves this holiday season. During a time when police often see a spike in crimes like property theft and robberies, they’re taking a crash course in self-defense.

A group of nearly two dozen mothers, grandmothers, wives and daughters, showed up to the Blue Springs Student Life Center Monday night for an annual safety seminar. Over the course of three hours, they learned basic moves to fight off an aggressor in any situation.

“Just making sure that I’m able to get home safely,” was mother Christie Gray’s reason for taking the class.

Gray also brought her 16-year-old daughter, Megan, who is becoming more independent.

“She’s just beginning to drive,” Gray said. “She’s in high school. She’s taking a trip next summer on her own and I want her to be safe. I mean, she’s my baby.”

Leading the class was Sergeant Colby Lalli of the Blue Springs Police Dept., who also happens to be a third-degree black belt.

“I would say 90 percent of it is about prevention,” Sgt. Lalli said. “What to do, what not to do, when to do it, how to protect your kids, your family, your valuables, things like that.”

Sgt. Lalli said self-defense is about knowing your surroundings and thinking on your feet.

“It’s not fancy,” he said, “and it’s stuff that’s going to be a reflex, such as if somebody is close enough to attack, maybe their feet are close enough to be stomped on.”

“Your common knee kicks, your open hand strikes so you don’t hurt yourself in the process, elbow strikes, and working leverage and vulnerable target points, and pressure points.”

He taught the women several easy, yet effective moves that will add an extra layer of security as women shop and travel this holiday season.

“Typically that’s when we’re maybe more vulnerable,” Sgt. Lalli said of the holidays. “We’re not paying attention, we’ve got a lot of bags in our hands when we shop, we’re trying to tend to the kids and all of those sorts of things and we want to stay vigilant all the time.”

Sgt. Lalli teaches this course once a year. It costs $20 for one person, or $30 for two people who register together. To learn more, email him at colbylalli@comcast.net.