Knoxville self-defense class teaches women, children safety

Knoxville self-defense class teaches women, children to stay safe

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People should grab the nearest object and use it to defend themselves. After watching a demonstration, I tried my hand at self-defense. People should grab the nearest object and use it to defend themselves. After watching a demonstration, I tried my hand at self-defense.
"Don't ever put yourself in danger just to be polite. It's better to be rude than to be dead," said Toni McSorley. "Don't ever put yourself in danger just to be polite. It's better to be rude than to be dead," said Toni McSorley.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the three women recently freed from a decade of captivity in Cleveland, people are wondering how exactly were they abducted in the first place and how they can protect themselves.

Toni McSorley has been teaching martial arts and self-defense for more than 40 years. She teaches a three and a half hour class called EZ Defense for Women that focuses on not becoming a target, but gives you the skills if you ever need to fight.

McSorley also teaches a two-hour class for children.

"These kids, once they're trained, will go at an attacker like a buzz saw," McSorley said.

She said parents have to tell their kids it's okay to fight back and what to say so others don't think it's just a temper tantrum.

"Say, 'This is not my parent. This is a stranger. I'm being kidnapped,'" she advised.

She said personal safety for everyone begins with awareness.

"You drive home and don't remember leaving that door open. That light I don't remember being on. Then you have to follow your instincts," she said. "Every woman I've ever talked to after an attack in the emergency room, they all said the same thing. I knew something was off about that, but I did it anyway. And don't ever put yourself in danger just to be polite. It's better to be rude than to be dead."

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