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Green Bay self defense teacher gives preparation advice for crisis situations, mass events

Posted at 10:26 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 23:46:22-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Betsy Rawlins recalls moments in her life alone on the street, feeling like she was about to be attacked.

But she's prepared for almost every situation.

"When you can show that you've got the confidence to take on the world, they [attackers] don't want that," Rawlins said. They want a victim. They want somebody that's not gonna put up a fight."

In the wake of recent mass shootings across the nation and multiple stabbings at home in Northeast Wisconsin, training for a similar scenario might feel more and more essential. Rawlins teaches classes at Total Self Defense in Green Bay and says the best plan is simple.

"[The situation] can be as chaotic as the world, but if you're calm, you can make a better decision then," the martial artist said.

And Rawlins says it isn't about fighting an attacker. She believes it's about learning to breathe in a chaotic event.

"The confidence part is the hard part," Rawlins said. "So without training and without doing something, you do what you train to do. What do you train to do? Eat Fritos and sit on the couch and watch TV, right?"

But the veteran teacher says that preparation makes you more aware of your surroundings.

"If somebody's got a gun, I don't want to be anywhere near them," Rawlins said .If somebody's got a knife, I don't want to be anywhere near them... The more distance I have, the safer I can be."

Rawlins teaches class member Jonathan Hager. After over six years of training, he says he feels ready for the worst.

"If there was a crisis, I would be able to do something, whether it comes to defending myself physically or helping someone else," Hager, a martial artist himself, said.

Though she says training is key for a potential crisis situation, Rawlins believes there's a way to teach yourself a key lesson every single day.

"Anybody can teach you how to punch and kick," she said. "So live your best life. Have your best day."