After 17 people lost their lives during last week's tragic shooting in Parkland, many may be wondering how to protect yourself in the worst case scenarios.
- Residents seeking self-defense lessons after Wednesday's shootings
- Matt DiPietro says everyone could benefit from training
- LINK: Learn more about class on Facebook
- LINK: Cobra self defense class
Matt DiPietro is the owner of MA Fitness in Pinellas County. He's also a certified self-defense instructor and teaches the internationally known program known as COBRA. It was founded by a former police officer.
DiPietro said after Wednesday's shooting, he's had an overwhelming response from local residents, churches, schools and businesses that want to learn the potentially life-saving techniques.
"It starts from simple stuff like exit awareness, moving under fire, cover and concealment, all the way to engaging your gunman if necessary. Providing barriers, ballistic protection. We're looking to minimalize casualties with this. We treat it like a disaster plan," DiPietro said.
While trying to escape a gunman, DiPietro said you should keep low, avoid huddling in packs and find everyday objects that can be used as shields.
"You're going to need to know, '"How do I fight, how do I engage a weapon that can kill me,?'" DiPietro said.
"There's binders, there's backpacks, there's other things. We grab these, we create ballistic protection," DiPietro said.
DiPietro says it would benefit everyone to learn these important survival skills.
"We're saving lives, and training saves lives," DiPietro said.
DiPietro teaches self-defense and anti-abduction classes for children. He's hosting a free active shooter training class next week.