The world can be a dangerous place, and protecting oneself from those who would seek to hurt you is a skill worth learning. The leadership team at the Bismarck Education Association recognized that need, and responded by scheduling a Self-Defense Safety Course for their members at the North Dakota United Bismarck office on Thursday evening, Nov. 16.

Instructor Kris Ehrmantraut talks to participants at the Bismarck Education Association Self-Defense Safety Course in Bismarck.

“Our members are very important to us and their safety is something that our organization makes a priority through negotiating and advocacy,” said Kari Nehls, BEA PR officer. “While speaking with members, we hear that safety is important in all aspects of their life; both inside and outside of the classroom. We are fortunate to have a member, Kris Ehrmantraut, who is an expert in self-defense to  turn to, to lead this class.”

Ehrmantraut taught participants her three safety rules: Say no. Get away. Tell someone. Additionally, she talked about verbal and physical techniques for self-defense, and the importance of using the “buddy system” when going places. Always remember your emergency phone numbers and to dial 911, and if a person, place or thing doesn’t feel safe, don’t be afraid to move away. Ehrmantraut spent an hour and a half running the assembled educators through techniques for blocking and defending against would-be attackers.

Kris Ehrmantraut, BEA member and self-defense instructor

“There is value in our organization offering this class for our members because we were able to meet a need for them that will keep them safe should they find themselves in a threatening situation,” Nehls said. “Knowing that this course could potentially save the life of one of our members is rewarding and priceless.”

Nehls also said that BEA is planning future member-only events like this one for the benefit of their association. “The officers of BEA will continue to listen to our membership as they voice their needs and interests and look for ways to enhance the benefits of membership by offering events like this as well as fun morale boosting events in the future,” she said. “Nothing has been set in stone yet, but we are working to book an fun, light-hearted, entertaining event for this spring. We also have plans to have the 2nd Annual Teacher Supply Sale and Vendor Show this summer.”