Abilene Regional Medical Center held a self-defense clinic for women of all ages Thursday night. Martial arts expert James Cox taught the ladies how to protect themselves against an attacker.
"Self defense is critical. You never know when or if a situation could happen so it's always better to be prepared just in case," said Cox, a professor at Premiere Martial Arts in Abilene.
The Abilene Police Department's website said there were 427 violent crimes in Abilene in 2011. 34 of those crimes were sexual assaults. Cox said by teaching women how to fight back they might be able to avoid becoming one of those statistics.
He said by learning how to defend themselves women could also "develop the confidence, self esteem, respect, good physical fitness, all the positive life skills."
Nurse practitioner Jennifer Flores said there were other things women could do to stay safe also.
"Stay in lighted areas. Don't go off by yourself and stay with your friends," said Flores.
Cox said women should use the strongest parts of their bodies, such as knees, fingers and elbows, against attackers. He said it is also important for women to practice so they are confident when they are threatened by someone.
He said women should remember two things. "Always be aware of your surroundings. Distance is a priority," said Cox