Local self-protection class empowers women
Published 1:57 pm Monday, March 28, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM—After spending 30 years in the military and in law enforcement positions, Cranford Blackmon knows how to defend himself and others.
After sharing a few simple self-protection techniques with his wife, Penny, the duo decided to create their own safety course for women.
Legs and Brains, Claws and Fangs, known as LaBCaF, is a protection course designed to teach women to utilize the tools they already have to fight and survive assault regardless of size, age or experience.
“I have taken everything from 30 years of experience in law enforcement and military, all of that, and pulled out the simple stuff— the things that are very effective,” Cranford Blackmon said.
The two-module course, offered in Homewood, Pelham and McCalla, covers everything from avoiding and escaping dangerous situations to physically fighting off an attacker.
The first module is the Legs and Brains segment of the course, Blackmon said, and it centers on escaping a situation or a bad guy.
“You can also use it as a metaphor for other challenges,” Blackmon said. “You can use what I teach you in a storm. You can also use it as a metaphor for if you lose your job. It teaches you how to use, what you didn’t realize you had, to your advantage.”
This segment also includes information on avoiding and identifying bad situations, dealing with the body’s physiological response to fear and providing police with details they can use.
Module two is the Claws and Fangs portion of the course where Blackmon teaches women what to do in a bad situation. He explained that everything can be used as a potential tool for defense, such as a pen, a cellphone or a cup of coffee.
“We want women to know that you are always ready to respond,” Blackmon said.
No men are allowed in the class, to make the women more comfortable, he said.
The course also has special meaning for the Blackmons as many female friends and family members expressed to them some kind of experience with assault.
One case involving a best friend of the Blackmons’ daughter was particularly aggressive, and after it happened, Penny Blackmon said the duo decided it was time to act.
“We are so personally invested in it because of what happened to our daughter’s (friend),” Penny said. “So when we hear somebody having that moment where they move out of fear to feeling empowered and in control of their own protection…that for me is like, ‘That’s what I want you to get.’”
In addition to the LaBCaF classes, the Blackmons also teach the NRA developed Refuse to Be a Victim course.
For more information or to book a class, visit Labcaf.com or Facebook.com/Labcafllc.