Group helps vulnerable communities learn self-defense

By Jeff Allen, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017, 10:25 PM EDT

Seniors can be especially vulnerable to crime and are often targets of thieves. But they’re getting help from two people who are educating seniors on ways they can stay safe.

  • Training group visits communities throughout Central Florida, teacher self-defense
  • Group focuses on vulnerable communities, including seniors

In a safety class at a neighborhood clubhouse in DeLand on Thursday, Jo Martin showed seniors how a cane can be used as a weapon.

“I can use it as a club,” said Martin.

It’s just one of several tips Martin, a martial arts instructor, and Randy Boyer, a longtime locksmith, teach in the safety class aimed at seniors.

“We tend to focus on more vulnerable groups, for example churches are being targeted a lot these days. So we do training for church groups to raise their awareness and put procedures in place to help keep everyone more safe,” said Martin.

The two travel throughout Central Florida to different neighborhoods and senior groups.

“Randy and I tend to look for areas where people are vulnerable and try to use our expertise and knowledge to share some of that with them to help protect them,” said Martin.

“Used to be you trusted everybody, but the more you see on the news, you know, you have to take that extra step to be more aware of your surroundings,” said Judy Williams, a DeLand resident.

Some of the safety tips may sound like common sense. But it’s advice Williams says she’ll remember in order to stay safe.

“She gave us some little things that I thought, oh I didn’t think of that,” said Williams.

“I probably should keep my car locked, and don’t leave your information in your glove box because if they get in there they can get your address.”

Anyone interested in the safety classes can find information on how to sign up at http://www.empowerfirearmstraining.com