Johnson City resident to teach women’s self-defense course at Carter County library

When under attack from someone, the victim often has only a few seconds to act, if at all. In the heat of the moment, fighting back is the only way to get out of a dangerous situation, but without true training, the person’s efforts might sail past the attacker’s head, sometimes literally.

Johnson City resident Bill Perkins will come to the Elizabethton/Carter County Library on Wednesday, Feb. 27, to host a women’s self-defense class.

Perkins, a Judo instructor for 40 years, said the program is meant to incorporate the more simple techniques of martial arts people can pick up within a single session.

“We will be learning striking techniques, locks and throws,” Perkins said. “These are simple and proven to be effective.”

He said the class is specifically designed for and only accepts women.

“One in five women will be assaulted in their lifetime,” he said. “I got tired of hearing about assault, and hearing the defense attorney putting the woman on trial. It is insulting.”

He said he hopes to change the narrative. By changing the story from a woman getting assaulted to a woman successfully defending herself, he said he hopes it will deter potential attackers in the future.

This is not the first self-defense course he has hosted.

“I have been hosting these classes for about three years now,” Perkins said.

While the techniques he teaches are meant for novices to get a feel for, he did say it might be difficult to pick up on all of it within a single day.

“There is a lot of material,” Perkins said. “They are not likely to remember all of it, but enough to feel more confident.”

He said this sense of confidence is what he strives for above anything else.

“It is rewarding to see the women feel more empowered when they leave. They feel safer,” he said.

True Judo takes many years to master, and even the techniques in this class will take many hours of practice in order to fully master. However, Perkins said even the mere knowledge of the technique can make a difference in the heat of the moment.

He said to dress for the occasion before attending.

“Wear something like sweats and/or a T-shirt,” Perkins said. “No jewelry.”

He said there is a limited amount of space for this due to the location. Those interested can register at the library in person or over the phone.

The session will take place at the library from 5 to 7 p.m.

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