Marysville Police officer Amy Findley tells women to "trust their gut" when it comes to recognizing potentially dangerous situations.

Marysville Police officer Amy Findley tells women to "trust their gut" when it comes to recognizing potentially dangerous situations.

But a little extra training in the form of a self-defense class she has taught since 2006 also helps.

"We have two to three classes a year, usually one class in the spring and one class in the fall," she said.

Class size averages around 20 students. In the last two weeks, Findley has taught 37 women how to fend off attackers.

"We teach them a class called 'PROTECT: Personal Response Options Tactical Effective Counter Techniques,'" she said.

The first 30 minutes of each class are devoted to personal response options. This is a talk with the women to remind them of safety tips they may have forgotten, such as parking in areas with plenty of light.

The next 90 minutes are spent getting physical. The students learn basic moves such as palm strikes and kicks.

"These moves are to teach them to get away from the threat and get help and not to continue to fight," Findley said.

Two other officers teach the class with her.

"You really need three to teach the class," she said. "You need a man to beat up on. It helps the women realize how much force they will actually need to fight off an attacker."

In the last half-hour of the class, one of the officers puts on a padded red suit and simulates an attack on women who are willing to demonstrate what they have learned.

"It's not only learning moves, it's keeping your guard up and knowing a good situation versus a bad situation," Findley said.

She said she learned how to teach the class at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, where she received her instructor's certificate. In June, she plans to go for another certification to teach kicking and ground fighting.

She said teaching the class has been rewarding.

"We get a lot of email. Women say, 'Wow, I didn't think about that.' Some mothers bring daughters. We get a lot of different women.

"Luckily, no one has had to use what they learned," she said.

But she said some of her students have been victims of crime.

She encourages women in her self-defense classes to rely on what comes naturally.

"I usually ask how many are mothers. Then I ask how many noticed their instincts increased once they became mothers," Findley said. "I tell them to trust your own instincts. The more you trust your instincts, the more in tune you'll be with what's going on."