SAN ANTONIO -- Teachers, administrators and other school workers got physical this weekend at a free self defense course focused on taking down a gunman.
Inside the STW Krav Maga studio on the city's northwest side, Bridget Lopez crouched behind a barrel and quietly waited. When the mock gunman entered the room, she jumped on him from behind and drove her elbow into the back of his head.
“This system and these seminars have changed my life," Lopez said, "because I have become more aware."
A teacher for 18 years, Lopez believes all administrators should take a similar course. Just in case.
"The more of us that trained and prepared, the safer it is going to be for my campus and for the people around me,” Lopez said.
The course on Saturday simulated a shooter, armed with an automatic weapon, barging into a classroom. Students are taught how to take that shooter down -- and quickly.
Krav Maga owner Pete Hardy decided to offer the class to teachers free of charge after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“Either we turn our schools into prisons with armed guards and closed gates or we start training our school teachers how to disarm someone who comes on campus or take that person out,” Hardy said.
Training school employees is no guarantee, Hardy said, but it at least gives those inside the building a fighting chance while first-responders are en route.
“The police departments and the SWAT teams –- God bless all of them -- it’s going to take them time to get there,” he said.
Hardy will be holding another free course for school employees next weekend. Visit the STW Krav Maga website for more information.