Locals empowered by self defense class

Published 8:00 am Sunday, July 30, 2023

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Locals explored the basics of self defense Thursday in a free class taught by Greenville Chief of Police Justin Lovvorn at the police department. The three to four hour class hosted about twelve community residents that practiced physical hands-on positions and techniques designed to help them fend off a would-be attacker. 

“The class went really well and they were very receptive to the training,” Lovvorn said. “We will train anyone to the best of their ability. Some of the ladies that come just want to be exposed to the information without participating in the physical training and they might just listen during the class. We encourage participants to not do anything they’re not comfortable doing, they can learn just by observation. But the majority of the class did everything and they really got a lot out of it. We had several stay around after the class asking questions and wanting to go over different scenarios that we hadn’t touched on. We always try to accommodate them. So it was a really good class.”

Lovvorn explained the class starts at a very basic level, learning fundamentals such as stance and hand and finger positions in order to be as safe as possible and avoid injury. 

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“By the time we’re done with the training 90% of everybody in there has really accelerated and is going full out on the  pads and equipment provided because they feel that confident with it,” Lovvorn said. “I encourage people who are interested but perhaps nervous, to not be intimidated. We have a really good environment, everybody is encouraging and gets into it, and no one ever leaves embarrassed. I hope others will come and try it!”

Lovvorn’s secretary Christy Brack attended the class and highly recommends joining. 

“It was a very informative class,” Brack said. “A lot of hands-on training. We were able to practice the techniques which was extremely helpful. There were several techniques that were taught that I feel I would be able to execute successfully in a self-defense situation. I highly recommend this class to anyone 13 and up.”

The Greenville Police Department will keep a register open for anyone to call and leave their information if they are interested in hosting or joining a self defense class. Once enough people sign up the department will notify whoever has signed the roster in enough time to make arrangements to attend the class at the given date and time. Captain Byron Russell, Sergeant Chad Herring, and Officer Anthony Derby aid Lovvorn in teaching the classes as well.

“Teaching these types of classes is the highlight of my week,” said Lovvorn. “When I get to go out and connect with the public, show them what we can provide, and help them in some way it’s very exciting for me and it just never gets old! When I see how much it benefits the community members and how much it’s appreciated, it truly makes my day.”

The class is just one of the free trainings the department offers – another is active shooter training.  Lovvorn said he will teach the class as often as community members would like. Call Christy Brack at (334) 382-7461 to request a free group class or to sign up on the roster. 

“Everything we do is free,” Lovvorn said. “I feel this is a service we should provide to our citizens just like everything else.”