Pellissippi State offers community self-defense classes

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In today’s culture, self-awareness and preparedness are important traits to cultivate, and Pellissippi State Community College is offering four self-defense classes in October and November to help reach that goal.

Three of the classes are geared to women, children and teenage girls. They cover topics as varied as bullying, self-defense and confidence. The fourth is open to women and men.

“Self-defense and bullying are being mentioned a lot in the media and in culture,” said Nancy Corum, “and we believe there is a need for instruction in these areas that Pellissippi State can help meet.” Corum is a coordinator for Business and Community Services, which is offering the courses.

All of the self-defense and bullying non-credit classes are open to the public.

“Women’s Self-Defense Seminar Level 1” is 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The class is open to females ages 14 and up and costs $40.

The class will teach attendees basic self-defense techniques, aiming specifically at situations in which a woman might be endangered in a remote area—e.g., parking lots and garages—and need to prevent an attacker from taking her to another location.

“Bully-Proof Kids 101” is Saturday, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, also at the Hardin Valley Campus. The class is open to children ages 5-12 and costs $30. Class times for ages 5-9 are 12:30-1:30 p.m. Times for ages 10-12 are 5:30-6:30 p.m.

In “Bully-Proof Kids,” children will learn what bullying behavior looks like and how to face difficult situations with self-confidence. They will discover strategies for self-protection through fun role-playing and games. Very basic physical self-protection techniques also are included.

“Self-Defense for Teen Girls” is 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Hardin Valley Campus. The course is open to teenage girls ages 13 and up. The class costs $40.

Attendees will learn bullying defense strategies, stranger defense skills, predator awareness and escape techniques. Basic self-defense skills and techniques will be presented through thoughtful discussion and role-playing. Attendees also will learn safe dating strategies and assault prevention, discussed in age-appropriate ways.

Teaching each class is Michelle Kirk, founder and lead instructor of Pink Diamond Defense, a Knoxville affiliate of the Women’s Self-Defense Institute.

“Refuse to Be a Victim” is open to men and women and is designed to offer a variety of options for learning crime prevention and personal safety strategies. Two sessions are available on the Hardin Valley Campus, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, and 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Cost of the class is $50.

“Refuse to Be a Victim” also will offer a session for anyone interested in becoming an instructor for the class. It begins 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, and continues  8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Cost of the class, which is at the Hardin Valley Campus, is $225.

Conducting both “Refuse to Be a Victim” classes is Jerry Huffman, an NRA certified training counselor and Tennessee certified handgun safety instructor.

For more information about these and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email