Class teaches students self defense

Photo by Sam Verbulecz.

Photo by Sam Verbulecz.

Maura Zurick

After her ex-boyfriend abused her, Allie Mack enrolled in a self-defense class to get into shape and learn how to protect herself.

“I took this class because, last year, my ex-boyfriend beat the crap out of me, and I was scared to defend myself,” said Mack, a sophomore math major. “I thought taking this class would teach me not to be scared when in that type of situation and how to react and defend against that.”

Self-defense classes are offered both as a course and at the

Student Recreation and Wellness Center

to help students and faculty learn defense skills.

Self-defense has been offered as a physical education course for twenty years. Pamela Hickey, the self-defense instructor since the early 1990s, said almost every semester the class meets its full enrollment of 24 students.

“In the classroom, we focus on building strength, body language, awareness, adrenal stress training, etc,” Hickey said.

““If in a dangerous situation,” Mack said, “this class will definitely help someone protect themselves from an attacker.”

“At the end of the course, through scenario based training, the goal is to develop a student with skills of diffusing conflict, avoiding conflict and avoidance of violence.”

Hickey also said students will learn the basic idea of self-defense and how to deal with it mentally and physically. This semester, two sections of the course are being offered.

Hickey said the class has always been popular and will continue to be offered every semester.

Katie Sena, freshman exploratory major, said she wanted to learn to defend herself.

“I took the class because it fit into my schedule,” she said. “And I wanted to learn to kick ass.”

If students have a full schedule, though, they can take a similar course at the Recreation and Wellness Center.

Rachael Decker, the wellness coordinator at the SRWC, said the course costs $25 for students and it is offered every semester. This semester, it is offered on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Participants will learn some basic self-defense tactics and moves,” Decker said. “For example, how to defend yourself against an attack from behind, or how to break free of a choke hold.”

Adam Kee, an instructor at the SRWC, said there are currently six people participating in his course, and self-defense is always a useful skill on a college campus.

“Don’t freeze in any situation,” he said. “When it happens, it will happen fast and be over fast. Doing something is much better than not doing anything at all.”

Mack is learning to defend herself by taking the course with Hickey.

Contact Maura Zurick at [email protected].