LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — It’s important to know how to defend yourself in any situation, especially at the peak of the holiday season.

Self-defense instructors with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office are teaching women to protect themselves in the face of danger, with confidence.

“We are stronger than we think, no matter our fitness level or our physical level,” says self-defense instructor Sgt. Elizabeth Gangloff.

The women’s self-defense seminar started as a program specifically for women within the department. Now, any woman age 16 and up can learn how to properly defend themselves with tips from experts for free. In the five-hour course, women learn self-defense laws and physical protective moves such as:

  • Survival tactics
  • Defense mechanisms based on the scenario
  • How to properly use female strengths and advantages

Gangloff says she “also brings up the biological gender differences between men and women.”

One common technique is the self-defense ground move, where participants learn how to defend themselves if they were pushed to the ground. Gangloff suggests if you are under attack, it is important you remember: do not panic.

The class is offered every month to women ages 16 and up. Persons ages 16 and 17 must have a chaperone present for the entire class. Registration is first-come, first-served. As of now, all January 2022 spots are filled and have a waiting list.

There is a maximum of 20 participants at a time, so Gangloff suggests registering now to secure your spot.

To register, contact Ashley Smith at (337) 236-3942 or email to request your spot.

Classes will be held at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff`s Office Public Safety Complex.