ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — A local self-defense company held a series of courses on Saturday to help adults and children best defend themselves in an active shooter situation.

Pugh Self-Protection & Combatives held an active shooter training on Saturday to help children and adults understand and better prepare themselves in the event an active shooter situation were to happen at a school.

The training was held in a classroom at Elmira College with kids ages 5-13 years old and another course with people 13+. An anonymous donation was made so that the young kids’ course was free for anyone to register and attend.

Instructor, Zachary Pugh, has been an active police officer since 2011 and is a certified weapon instructor and firearms expert. He spent time helping children get comfortable with the different prop weapons and taught them different ways to defend themselves in a classroom.

“Distance is not your friend,” Pugh said when referring to a shooter entering a classroom. “When we talk about armed confrontation distance is usually not your friend,” he said, “distance is what’s needed for that bad guy to be violent,” Pugh said.

Throughout the training, Pugh applied more and more realism to different scenarios where he played the role of the shooter entering the classroom. He instructed the children that in a situation where a shooter enters a classroom, it’s better to fight than hide, and to be closer to the individual than be away from them. He focused heavily on the children working together and using their numbers to help bring down and detain the shooter.

He wanted to give the kids hope and teach them that they can do something in these situations if they were ever to happen. He emphasized that nothing is 100% to work, but that it’s better to have the training, and be trained properly, than to be trained poorly, or have nothing at all.