Greenville Self-Defense Coach: Crime Prompts Demand For Classes

Reports of crime across the east may leave you wondering what you can do to protect yourself.

Rodrigo Galvanosi mostly trains athletes in his Greenville gym. But in the last few years, he's had a big demand for self defense classes in response to local crime.

Cheryl Cloyd-Robbins has been training with Galvanosi for the past few months. She says, "People like me who grew up in, or have been in Greenville for many years have a false sense of security that Greenville is a nice southern town and this is where you came to raise a family and you didn't have to worry about it so much and that has changed and so it's an awakening to that it's not the same Greenville I knew in the 1990s."

Galvanosi says the first step in defending yourself is to be aware of what's around you. He says, "A predator looks for prey, so if I look like I'm busy playing Candy Crush or if I look like I'm busy talking on the phone, or fumbling with papers or something, I'm an easy target. "

If someone does approach you, he says the first thing to do is put your hands up towards the possible attackers face. He says, "Now the next thing she needs to do is be aware of what I'm doing. She's going to be recording my face and my features so that if she is ever able to get to law enforcement, make a phone call, or report back, she will be able to describe the characteristics of my face."

Next he says is to follow the "three feet rule" and maintain three feet between you and your attacker. Galvanosi says when the bad guy does try to reach for you, use your angles to maintain space between the two of you. He says, "if I do go to reach for it, she's going to step and use the positive negative, one hand on the inside one hand on the outside of my arm. By doing this, I can't pull back, I can't push forward, I can't come in and can't go out because she's controlling me completely from every direction. What she's done by stepping off to the angle is she's now negated the four appendages I have to attack with."

From there, she can pull the attacker away and run, or retaliate from where she is.

But if you do find yourself a victim of an attack, it's probably not going to be in a gym. It's going to be outside, perhaps while you're walking to your car.

Galvanosi says to face outward when getting in your car, so that no one is able to sneak up behind you.

Cloyd-Robbins says while she hasn't needed to use the training she's received yet, she's confident she'll know what to do.

She says, "There have been several situations over the Christmas holidays where I noticed someone who probably hoped that I wouldn't notice them and I was able to react to it, so they never got close, but I felt really good that I saw a person that I probably wouldn't have seen."

Even if you are armed, experts say self defense techniques can be beneficial if you are surprised with an attack and don't have time, or are unable to get your gun.