Students learn valuable skills during self-defense class

Lauren Dangel, a freshman communication studies major, hits Brian Bowles using the technique he taught those in attendance of the self-defense class.

Chyenne Tatum

An attack can happen at any place and time, which is why students were preparing for the unexpected before it happens during a self-defense class on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.

Kayla Powell, a freshman human development and family studies major, loved being able to learn new tactics to defend herself.

“It’s important to know self-defense because it can keep you safe and make you feel protected,” Powell said. “You never know what could happen, especially on a college campus.”

Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS) presented the self-defense class as a project to help other students learn different techniques on how to deal with an abuser.

The instructor, Brian Bowles, works with Kent Karate and Family Fitness and has trained in several different forms of self-defense and martial arts. His classes range from adults to children, as he teaches them valuable skills in how to fight back.

Bowles demonstrated a number of techniques, such as how to get out of wrist and hair grabs, and how to push an attacker off if they pin you to the ground.

“It’s not about power versus power,” Bowles said. “It’s about rerouting the power and using it to your advantage to get out of a dangerous situation.”

Students lined up and practiced different defense methods with Bowles and his two partners, Brian Redfern and Corey Chadman.

“You only have to fight back long enough to scare the attacker and run,” Chadman said. “Do not stay within their reach any longer than you need to.”

Not only did students feel more confident in their strength after the two-hour session, but they also realized that you can be powerful without being aggressive.

Paige Morgridge, a junior public health major, works with SRVSS as an intern and organized the event as a Sex Week activity.

“Since SRVSS is about educating people on sexual abuse, this self-defense class is tailored to people who could be in an abusive relationship,” Morgridge said. “Both women and men can be targets of abuse, so when works don’t help, you have to physically know how to defend yourself.”

Chyenne Tatum is an arts and entertainment reporter, contact her at [email protected]