Self Defense

Todd Lowe and Kathy Williams self-defense tactics they taught in a class on how to take a gun away from an attacker.

Firm Foundation Martial Arts in Mooresville has begun offering an “active shooter” seminar aimed at keeping people safe in public and at their workplace.

“We live in a society with a lot of negativity and a lot of bad guys, so my goal is to help everyone be as safe as they can by sharing techniques and teaching them to be aware of their surroundings,” said Todd Lowe, assistant chief instructor for Firm Foundation.

The studio’s first two-hour active shooter seminar was June 30, and Lowe said it had fairly good attendance. The class included tips on how to safely get away, such silencing cell phones and a few hand signals to communicate silently; as well as ways to disarm an attacker in a desperate situation by taking away a knife or gun.

“We taught (hitting with) palm heels, which is safer than a punch so you don’t hurt yourself, and moves we call ‘third party’ where if the assailant is pointing a gun at someone else, you can take it away and keep going,” explained Lowe.

Firm Foundation’s chief instructor and owner, Jeff Blake, said it’s important to always be ready.

“When you’re in that situation, most of the time you really have two options,” he said. “You can do something, anything, which ups your chance of survival. Or you can do nothing. We encourage people to do something.”

He added that there are many techniques that could work in defending against an attack.

“You won’t learn everything in two hours, but at least you’ll have something to take away and use if you need it,” he said. “You’re less likely to freeze because you practiced.”

The classes are for adults of any skill level, and are free. The course won’t be taught again at Firm Foundation until September, but in the meantime, Blake said he will teach the class for free for local businesses and groups.

For information on the courses, visit or call 704-662-9537. 

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you