Self-defense expert gives tips amid Springfield safety concerns

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Recent discussions surrounding safety have circulated on social media following a Springfield assault.

Local self-defense experts said with it getting dark earlier, people should be more aware.

Owner of F8 Fitness and Self-Defense in Springfield, Aaron Elliott, said having a wife and daughters has opened his eyes to how things can be for women when it comes to staying safe.

“I know people think we live in the conservative, quiet town of Springfield, Missouri, but it’s here, and it’s real, and it’s happening,” Elliott said.

Elliott said he teaches people to always know their surroundings and keep their head on a swivel.

If someone does approach to attack, Elliott said he recommends making as much noise as possible.

He said to do this even if the attacker says not to do so. “Get back, get away, stop,” Elliott said. “It’s trying to make your presence known. You want to be looking at this person in the face. Don’t be looking down. Don’t be looking at the phone in your hands.”

He said if you must fight back, there are things to remember. “An open palm strike, not a closed fist,” Elliott said. “A closed fist striking off a skull could slide off. An open palm strike hit the face, throat, obviously, a lot of people think is the groin area. By all means, if you can get to it, get to it.”

Elliott said people of all ages who have experienced past safety concerns, or never want to, come for weekly self-defense classes.

For more on how to get involved with a self-defense class, click here

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