The Presenter

Run Away Shoes hosted a Women’s Self Defense Class on December 6, 2021.  This course was instructed by Aaron Pynenberg. He is a 27 year veteran and Senior Sergeant of the Appleton Police Department. Aaron worked for 18 years on Appleton’s SWAT team and was the Department’s head trainer in Defense and Arrest Tactics.

Aaron is a Master Instructor in Fencing and Owner of the Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association, and a recognized expert in medieval combat and edged weapons.

Amber’s Takeaways 

The class was very eye opening to me as he talked through the different ways that you may have thought out an attack and what your reaction would vs. what will actually happen naturally when your body enters this panic moment. 

I did not realize what the body does with your vision, reflexes, etc. in a time like this.  I never would have thought that I wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach for pepper spray and spray it at the attacker or even be able to function enough to use my emergency button on my phone.  Learning to be more aware of my surroundings was also something that really hit me.  I always thought I did a good job of this. I run either listening to nothing but my breathing, the voices in my head (lol), the person that I am with or I have my Aftershocks on so I can be aware of my surroundings. But let’s be honest… sometimes we ignore quite a bit happening around us.

He also taught us some tactics to avoid a possible attack in the way that we carry ourselves and the body language that is conveyed as we approach people.  And lastly, we did some hands-on learning of ways to get out of an attack situation while the aggressor is in action. I’ve definitely been thinking in a different mindset since the class. 

This was an amazing class that was well taken by the community and Run Away Shoes is planning to have another one in the next few months.  Stay tuned!  

I personally want to say thank you to Aaron for his expertise and to Ross for putting on such an empowering event.

– Amber Gloudemans

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