Many self-defense classes teach the proper tactics and the proper moves, but one class also teaches the proper use of pepper spray.
“One of the things about working out in the field in people’s homes is that you walk into unpredictable situations,” said Tracy Stewart, one of the students attending the class.
Stewart, who works in home health care, said she attended the class to pick up some techniques to pass along to her colleagues.
“You walk into unfamiliar people in the home – there could be visitors, there could be drug use,” she said.
“Pepper spray is non-lethal, it works on multiple opponents, it works at a distance,” said course instructor Logan Doughty, who is also the owner of Personal Self Protection LLC in Roanoke.
Doughty has taught self-defense courses for roughly two decades. Five years ago, he teamed up with SABRE, a pepper spray manufacturer, to teach the pepper spray course.
“Most people have not sprayed their pepper spray,” Doughty said. “It may require enormous hand strength to use it, and in a time of stress, [that] is not the time for you to find that out.”
But Doughty said defending yourself goes beyond deploying pepper spray.
“Somebody who is assertive with their body language and their intentions and has trained with pepper spray has 90 percent of the battle covered,” he said.
“You could really find yourself in a situation that you had no idea how you even got there if you’re not prepared or not aware,” Stewart said.
The pepper spray course runs every few weeks, Doughty said. In addition to the pepper spray class, instructors also run self-defense courses on other topics.
For more information on self-defense courses that Doughty teaches, visit his business’s Facebook page.