FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: Due to an overwhelming response, a second class has been added for Dec. 3. It will begin at 10:15 a.m.

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Those in the Fort Smith area looking to learn self-defense skills to help protect against violence will soon have an opportunity thanks to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

A free class will be held for River Valley residents on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the ArkansasBlue Welcome Center in Fort Smith at 9 a.m. The class will be taught by a certified instructor.

According to the website SafeWise, in the last year, 10 percent of Arkansans experienced a violent crime. Knowing what to do in a potentially dangerous situation could help protect you and your loved ones, as well as improve your overall well-being.

According to a press release, health experts say knowing a few simple self-defense techniques can boost your self-confidence, improve your balance, increase your physical fitness and give you peace of mind.

“There are so many things that contribute to our overall wellness. Being safe and feeling safe are a big part of that,” said Arkansas Blue Cross Manager of Health and Well-being Kristen Lippencott. “While we hope they never have to use it, it is a great opportunity for the community to learn some basic skills.”

The National Self-defense Institute also says being aware of what’s going on around you and reducing your risks, like parking in well-lit areas, account for 90 percent of personal self-defense.

Space for the class will be limited. To reserve a spot, click here.