Today's incident at a theater near Nashville and recent shootings at public places may have you wondering how you can keep youself safe. A self-defense course may be the answer.

Marissa Dipietro is pretty confident in her ability to protect herself.

"I just wanted to do something to empower myself and give me the knowledge I needed to feel safe."


She took a self-defense course called COBRA, which stand for combat objective battle ready applications.

Matt Dipietro teaches the class. "Self defense, when it really comes down to it, is protecting yourself at all costs, stopping the threat."

He says there are some things anyone can do if someone is trying to hurt you. "Such as barricading doors, finding barriers between you and the criminal,  makeshift weapons"

Officer Rodney Tower with the St. Petersburg police  training division agrees and adds: "The biggest advantage is, if they can, is to get distance as soon as possible."

UPDATE:Click here for latest on the Nashville attack

Both men say you should have a basic plan for any dangerous situation and a good self-defense course would give you the confidence you need to stay safe.

Dipietro also adds that when you sign up for a self-defense course make sure it is accredited and based on real life situations, not sport.

To find out how you can sign up for the COBRA course, check the Martial Arts Kickboxing website in St. Petersburg.