New kind of self-defense classes inspired by mass shootings, terrorist attacks

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Multiple mass shootings and terrorist attacks have inspired a new line of defense.

More than 18 million people have watched the video on YouTube; with hundreds signing up for the seminars.

Participants say it’s like “safety training on steroids.”

Ryan Hoover, co-founder of worldwide affiliate training organization, Fit-to-Fight started developing the program with the help of his partners because he was concerned about the safety of his own children.

The seminars are offered once a month at many of the Fit-to-Fight affiliates across the country for free or at cost, because they want everyone to have access to the life saving training.

The guidelines were developed with a clear understanding of weapons after studying extensive research by the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, military special forces experts and college professors.

They not only looked at how an active shooter operates, but they psychology behind their actions.

“Because these things take place within 5-15 minutes, which is before law enforcement can show up, people need to learn to take care of themselves,” said Aaron Jannetti, owner of Endeavor Defensive Fitness, a Fit-to Fight affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.

Aaron says there are three basic principles to survival.

Some of the techniques are used in other programs and others are somewhat controversial.

The first is to “escape” if possible. Unlike other methods, they recommend using windows or whatever exit is safely accessible.

But if escape isn’t possible they teach people to properly “barricade” themselves inside of the location.

He says filing cabinets and furniture should be pre-positioned near the door.

“You don’t want, at the last minute to be hearing gunshots go off and go 'oh man what would I barricade with?'” said Aaron.

The third recommendation is also the most controversial and different from many other protection plans.

It’s to “respond” by whatever means necessary to save your life and the lives of others; including tackling the shooter if possible.

During the seminars people are taught how to take down a suspect by aiming low and avoiding the muzzle of the gun.

“One thing you want to do is jump on them, bear hug the gun and hold on to his arms and take them down to the floor,” said Aaron, “You need to learn to stop the bad guy doing things people don’t want to talk about, jamming fingers in the eyes;, using scissors or a pen to stab with or a fire extinguisher to hit them over the head with.”

They also coach people, especially in a classroom to spread out and hide behind desks or metal furniture; then scream and throw things, like books at the shooter to discombobulate and distract them.

At a recent simulation exercise at a Cleveland seminar, 18 out of 18 targets were quickly shot when huddled together, but only 1 was hit when the targets were spread out, hidden and throwing things at the suspect.

“Sitting in corner and hoping it works out is not good,” said Aaron, “Somebody has to do something.”

Aaron says he and the other instructors know that this type of program isn’t for everyone, but they’re also certain it can and will save lives.

“We’ve had people in law enforcement tell us that,” said Aaron, “If you’re already dead, isn’t it worth going down fighting?!”

For more information on the Fit-to-Fight Active Shooter Defense Training CLICK HERE.