WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The Woonsocket Police Department will train a new generation of fighters.

The department is offering a five-week self-defense course, police said Monday.

Students will meet once a week starting March 1 at Dan’s Martial Arts Center on South Main Street. Sensei Dan Guernon, a fourth-degree black belt, will teach women how to be aware of their surroundings and escape an attacker, according to police.

The class will employ a hands-on approach where participants test their knowledge against their instructor who’s wearing a “tactical padded suit,” police said. They will also learn how to use common objects like keychains, hairspray, sanitizer, pens, or bags for self-defense purposes.

“The confidence a woman can build from self-defense training can be life-changing and empowering,” Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said. “Not only will self-defense training allow her to better defend herself physically, but it will transcend to defending herself verbally and in every other aspect of her life.”

There are 20 spots available in the course, which is exclusively for women living or working in Woonsocket.

Classes will be held Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The course is free to participants 16 or older and funded through grants, police noted.

To sign up, contact Capt. Ed Cunanan at ecunanan@woonsocketri.org.