Classes for all ages teach: YOU ARE WORTH DEFENDING
An attempted kidnapping in 2017 prompted the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to ask themselves what they could do to make families feel safer. In January 2018, on the anniversary of Rachel Cooke’s disappearance, and with the blessing of her mother Janet, the department held the first Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Self Defense Academy to teach kids the Sonic Scream, Chicken Wing, and more; and help men and women of all ages learn to protect and defend against attackers.
In March of that year, Deputy Brandon Schaefer became a full-time teacher in the course, and has traveled around the state supporting other departments and agencies with his expertise. WCSO is the only regional law enforcement agency that provides classes of this caliber, and includes individuals and businesses of all ages and demographics, at any level of fitness.
Deputy Schaefer is a Karate champion inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and he is more than up to the task. “He has a passion for self-defense,” the Sheriff adds, “he is a valuable tool for our county and has a very proactive approach to reaching out. He equips the community with knowledge that enables people to take care of themselves, and it is gratifying to hear so many of his students talk about how life changing the class has been for them.”
Deputy Schaefer teaches active shooter, women’s defense and striking techniques, anti-abduction, adolescent defense, and more, on a regular basis. Classes are free to the public, regardless of residency, and the schedule is posted on Facebook. There is also a registration at Parks.Georgetown.org/self-defense-academy/
In the classroom
Each class has a specific topic and can accommodate 20-30 students. Businesses and organizations may request custom training for groups if the instructor has available time in the schedule. Deputy Schaefer has worked with PTAs and ISDs; educating teachers how to defend against active shooters; not just about personal safety, but how to make classrooms more defendable.
Deputy Schaefer says, “The most important thing I teach is situational awareness. Just last year, a child in Georgetown was saved by his own presence of mind to run away when the suspect did not know his safe word. We teach people to be in the moment. Walk with your head and eyes up, wherever you are. If you’re distracted by your phone or thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, you miss indicators . We don’t want you to be paranoid, but you do need to be smart.”
Deputy Schaefer assures that classes will continue to be held, but with fewer participants to allow for frequent cleaning and distancing. “We want to be effective teachers while accommodating everyone’s comfort level.” For more information, contact Deputy Schaefer at [email protected]