It’s a first for the Palm Springs area. A self-defense class focused on helping people protect themselves if ever attacked while out at a bar or on the street and it’s mainly focusing on the LGBT community after several reports of gay bashing over the busy 2017 Pride weekend.
"When I hear friends of friends that were attacked where ever it was in a club or something. I’m like oh man," said Harry Legg, owner of New Jersey Tai Chi and the instructor for Saturday’s self-defense class.
"Stay back, stay back, stay back," he said in a demonstration for KMIR News on Friday morning.
The techniques Legg teaches are more than just about throwing a quick punch.
"And you can see, how right away, I take him down," said Legg.
It’s really a mental game when face to face with an attacker.
"Your eye contact, the body posture and using your voice," said Legg. "Shows you how to throw up a really strong deterrent which will hopefully make a potential attacker say, whoa I do not want to deal with you."
Legg knows that his class could potentially help reduce recently reported attacks on the LGBT community, or at least protect the potential victims from someone their size or someone significantly larger.
"So you pin me down on the ground where I can’t move. If I muscle this it’s very difficult but I will teach you a relaxation technique…that allows you to just get them off right away," said Legg.
Tishema Moss is a native of Palm Springs. Thankfully she’s never been approached or attacked but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
"I’d have to protect myself if that happens but I try not to think that way. I try to stay positive," she said.
It’s worth keeping good thoughts but Legg says there’s no better time than present to learn from past incidents to stay safe in the future.
"Most people are going to back off unless that have really strong criminal intent," said Legg.
The class will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 24th at the Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym. Their address is 19160 McLane St, North Palm Springs, CA 92258.
Advance tickets are $50, and it is $60 at the door. Again, this is open to anyone.
More information can be found by clicking here.