By MARLENE BOHR
Under the sanction of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, a self-defense class that is strictly awareness training to provide information, will be held at the annex. Plans are to meet Tuesdays at 7 p.m. There is no charge.
“We are not doing a training program,” instructor John Alford said. “I am passing on information on how to survive an attack. It is not part of a martial arts program; it is basic self defense for women. If men want to come and learn, more power to them.”
Alford went to Sheriff Jack Martin with the idea and Martin agreed it was a good service.
“I am the tool being used for them,” Alford said. “I am very happy to do this. I want to do something to inform people how they can get away when attacked and not be a victim.
“I try to emphasize that I am not training them, I am giving them instruction on self-defense. I am not training them to fight or condition them, I am giving them knowledge through self-defense.”
Alford doesn’t want any recognition; he just wants to pass on the knowledge of how to self defend. His wife, Christine, attends and helps with demonstrations.
“I try to incorporate a lot of safety things such as be aware of your surroundings,” Alford said. “I try to take some of the fear away. The perpetrator knows what they want to do, what they don’t know is what you are going to do. You have the upper hand. If you can respond; they are not prepared. They are prepared for you to be scared and fearful. They don’t have a plan B. They just expect you to react to their terror that they are going to give you. I want people to change their mindset and not be a victim.
“This class is not about me; it is about them. I just want to provide knowledge and focus on the people who attend.”
Alford is a Christian man and hopes all that attend can use the information he presents.
Alford was in the Air Force in the 1960s and was on the martial arts team. He said that is what kept him studying afterwards.
Alford is a graduate of Daingerfield High School. The Alfords came back to this area about 5 ½ years ago.
“We are spending retirement here and trying to teach women and others how to defend themselves,” he said.
For further information about upcoming classes, call the Morris County Sheriff’s Office at 903-645-2232.