Bob Allen plays the part of the bad guy in the women’s self-defense classes he teaches at Royal Range in Nashville.
Allen knows a thing or two about bad guys. He was a Metro police officer for more than 30 years and served on the SWAT team.
Jenna Stoops is playing a victim in the class because she doesn’t want to be one in real life.
“I’m by myself in Nashville, I need to know how to protect myself,” Stoops said. “When Bob gets in the suit, he comes and attacks you as if it was a real-time thing, so we all felt a lot better after this class.”
Stoops had an incident that drove her to take action. Her alarm system notified her that someone had entered her home near Bellevue while she was out to dinner. She immediately changed the locks, added cameras and installed more spotlights.
“Completely violated. Why were they messing with me? Was it me personally? Was it something they were looking for at my house?” Stoops said. “I was obviously very scared for my dogs. Would they come back?”
Allen arms his students with skills, including how to strike an attacker with your knee instead of your fist, what to do if someone grabs your wrist or puts you in a chokehold.
The goal in these confrontations is to avoid ending up on the ground, but if you do, keep your feet between you and your attacker.
Allen also takes his students through home invasion simulations. He said if someone comes in your home at night, point a flashlight toward the door and stand in the corner. The person’s eyes will go to the light, and you can be ready to strike. Some TASERs can shoot as far as 15 feet.
“You’re sitting at home thinking, eh Bob’s a little over the top. That ain’t happening to me. ‘Til it does. And when it does, your TASER is not in the room with you, or your firearm is in the bedroom. Now two guys are standing in your living room going, ‘alright lady, let’s find out what you got in the house,'” Allen said.
Stoops knows it can happen.
“With the crazy things happening right now, I think you can never be too safe,” she said.
And now she’s prepared to fight back.
Allen said the best fight is the one you were never in. Be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious, go the other way!
Royal Range offers a number of training courses including self-defense, handgun carry and what to do if you’re carjacked.