‘On Guard Defense’ trains women to fight back in assault situations

Local News

VINTON COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – More than 81-percent of women reported experiencing some form of assault in this 2018 national study. One facility in southeast Ohio is fighting to lower that statistic.

On Guard Defense (OGD) is a female-owned and operated firearms and self-defense training center in New Plymouth near the rolling Hocking Hills.

Owner/Instructor Judi Phelps is a self-defense enthusiast who opened this range with a core focus in instructing women on how to properly fight back when in an assault situation.

OGD offers several training courses for not only women but for men, kids and law enforcement. They also hold group retreats, such as Lady Warrior Weekend, an intense three-day getaway that equips women with armed and unarmed self-defense strategies.

“The first step is accepting it can happen to us and so we have to prepare for it.”

Judi Phelps, On Guard Defense

Lady Warrior Weekend begins Friday afternoon with learning situational awareness, gun handling and shooting fundamentals. It lasts throughout the weekend until it concludes Sunday evening.

A few of the events that happens during Lady Warrior Weekend include but are not limited to:

  • Drawing from the holster
  • Live-Fire Holster Skills
  • Basic Strikes
  • Basic Defenses
  • Trap, Buck and Roll
  • Choke Defenses

“The last thing I wanted was for women to purchase a firearm to help themselves and their families be safe, but lack the training and then have that defensive tool become a liability,” said Phelps.

The women in this class all have different skill levels. Some are experienced shooters, while others have never even touched a gun before.

“Well, I’m shooting a .22 which is about as low power as you can get because I’m a newbie, but you do feel it!” said Maria Hydell, a Lady Warrior.

All ages are welcome at this training camp.

Take Jackie Hardman for instance.

“Can’t outrun them, try to but at some point if they persist, then you’re to have to defend yourself or you’re going to die and frankly, even at 73, I’m not real keen on doing that right away,” remarked Hardman.

Being attacked frequently triggers a “fight or flight” response, yet many simply freeze. But it’s more than just learning to shoot a handgun at this retreat.

Judi and other certified instructors train self-defense using Krav Maga – a method of military self-defense that originated in Israel.

“You’re not going to think when it happens, you’re just doing whatever you can at this point to get them over here,” said Chris Grilliot, Lady Warrior.

Whether you’re learning to use a firearm, or unarmed self-defense techniques, the key is knowing what is going on around you at all times.

“The whole essence of it is bringing the ladies together and supporting each other and learning together to be safe,” remarked Phelps.

For more information on On Guard Defense, visit their website here or contact them below:

  • Phone Number: 740-596-1984
  • Address: 66211 Bethel Road, New Plymouth, Ohio 45654
  • Email: info@onguarddefense.com

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