Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Dr. Robert Lackey

Department of Social Sciences
Off Campus
(580) 774 - 4602

Personal Safety Training GSTDY 4053

SWOSU’s campus-wide safety training program …
For Students, Parents, and Working Professionals:

Personal Safety Training

Basic Personal Safety Training GSTDY 4053 the 2nd 8 weeks class that meets on Tuesday evenings 7–9 p.m. in room 143 of the Wellness Center.

Intermediate Personal Safety Training GSTDY 4054 meets then, and new additions like partner training, and getting the defensive escape tactic beyond just knowledge and memory and into muscle memory and reflexes, makes it a good investment in YOU as well!!!

Enrollment extends to October 29th.

For more information see: Robert Sam Lackey, PhD, 5th degree Black Belt, on the faculty website, at 580-774-4602 or or 580–774–4602.


Click here for more information about SWOSU’s Free Tai Chi for Health and Safety Program

These four individuals recently led a presentation on escape techniques at the Oklahoma chapter meeting of the National Association of Social Workers in Norman. These techniques are taught in the personal safety classes at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. The presentation at NASW was entitled “Ways to Escape Violence, Receive Training and Build Our Knowledge Base.” Presenters were (from left) Sarah Schulz, assistant professor in the SWOSU social work program; students Sarah Collvins and Taryn Halferty; and Dr. Robert Sam Lackey, principal instructor of the personal safety training courses at SWOSU. Lackey said the ability to escape being struck or even cornered are vital skills for all people to learn. For more information on continuing education and college credit courses, contact Lackey at 580-774-4602 or or

An 8 week long college course—For an hour of regular college credit—or by arrangement available as Continuing Education Units through the Sponsored Programs Office—contact Dr. Lackey for professional development training.

Enrollment has been simplified so that one can enroll in up to 9 hours without having to officially enter a program. Find a course that meets your needs and take it!

Meetings for college credits are in the Wellness Center on Tuesday evenings 7–9pm Rm. 143 and on Monday evenings on-line 7–9pm on the Sayre campus.

Instructor, 5th degree black belt.

The courses and free campus orientation meetings are based on close coordination between the Campus Police, area Law Enforcement, and SWOSU’s student support offices. The college course is a General Studies course available through the Social Science department.

Basic Course subject matter:
“How to avoid, but if necessary, how to stop an attack and escape, using non-lethal means”—

The training covers self defense against common forms of armed and unarmed attacks, plus escaping, both as an individual, and in a coordinated action with a partner.

It has always been the case that as soon as a person is clearly focused on escaping, any threat from them is removed, and also any justification to do them further harm.

Of special interest to:

Family members, working professionals and pre-professionals who are or will be working and traveling in large urban areas.

People being bullied or those willing to step in and help the bullied person get away (friends or teachers)–protecting themselves, and the bullied.

Returning warriors who need a set of non-lethal reflexes to help them adjust to peace-time civilian society. Training for their partners—leaving no one behind

Those interested in or currently with concealed carry licenses—to provide techniques to keep an attacker away from one’s firearm, and forcefully send them a safe distance away.

Physical Technique Checklist:

Health and Safety Shield

  • Three Yang style Tai chi movements that intercept, and deflect harmful incoming forces, natural or human, providing an opportunity for a safe escape.
  • Presented to the 2013 Statewide Social Workers Convention—with outstanding evaluations from field workers and administrators.

Front Defenses

  • Choke counter and escape.
  • Clothing or wrist grab and control, escapes.
  • Parking lot and car exam.
  • Flashlight based defense and escape techniques.
  • Interrupting and diverting Bully attacks.
  • Unarmed defense and escape techniques.

Defenses to the rear

  • Stopping the elbow grab and pull toward capture.
  • Countering the hair grab.
  • Escaping the bear hug and head lock.
  • Avoiding a pistol when entering front door.
  • Avoiding pistol held close during abduction.
  • Avoiding basic knife thrusts and overhead weapons strikes.

Couples breakout training

  • Escaping ground and pound and choking.
  • Weighing escape options.
  • Cover versus concealment.

Additional resources

Follow-up Personal Safety Training is also available each 8 weeks in the form of Intermediate Personal Safety Training—same time and place—and Advanced Personal Safety Training available in the first 8 weeks of the Spring Semester.

*Sgt. Will Denton, former member and trainer of the Presidential Protection Unit and a veteran of combat in Afghanistan, confirmed the effectiveness and need for our non-lethal defensive reflexes and escape tactics for the adjustment of returning soldiers to civil society in peace time. Escaping conflict in peacetime is not retreat. His wife helped with partner-based defenses and coordinated escaping.