Thursday, July 9, 2020
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Women learn self-defense at a Lutheran school

“There’s no technique to this. It’s a knee to the face. Don’t worry about precision,” said Joe Dressel, a fourth-degree black belt in Hapkido and the owner of a boxing club in Pennsylvania, as he trained women from seventh grade to adulthood how to use their elbows, palms, and knees as vicious weapons capable of saving their lives in an attack, the Carroll County Times reports.

The women’s self-defense training session, a sign of a thriving engagement between a school and the community it serves, was offered last night at Carroll Lutheran School in Westminster, Maryland. The key in an attack, Mr Tressel emphasized, is to do damage and escape.

“I’m not going to teach you how to cartwheel kick someone in the jugular,” the paper quoted him as saying. “I am going to teach you the skills you need to protect yourself.”

The event was planned for last year but got postponed due to snow, according to Andrew Dean, president of the school’s Family Partnership Program. “It’s as much of a social event as anything else,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a thing women in the community can do together. Mothers and daughters, or girlfriends can come out together, [and] have fun.”

The Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon, posted a few tips for women who find themselves looking for a good self-defense class to help them prepare for these situations.

“Self-defense is a set of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies, and physical techniques that enable someone to successfully escape, resist, and survive violent attacks,” the bureau writes. “A good self-defense course provides psychological awareness and verbal skills, not just physical training.”

And that’s what women got at Carroll Lutheran last night.

“Trust your instincts,” Mr Dressel said. “I’d rather you be a jerk than a victim. If someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, could you tell me the time?’ it’s OK to tell him to get the hell out of your way. It’s OK to be that jerk.”

With the right mindset, even women or girls who have never taken a single course in physical self-defense techniques can successfully ward off an attacker. The attacks most commonly come out of nowhere—someone asking for the time or if he can ask you a simple question or even on a date—and being aware of what your options are can go a long way toward defusing a potentially violent situation before it escalates.

If physical confrontation is required in a given situation, it’s possible to become injured. But ask yourself: What’s worse? A broken bone or becoming a victim of assault?

The long-term pain and suffering women endure who have been victims of assault last much longer than any physical injury from something like a broken bone, lacerations, etc.

According to the Winona County Sexual Assault Interagency Council in Minnesota, victims of assault who were unable to defend themselves have reported suffering from depression possibly leading to suicidal thoughts, flashbacks that ruin concentration, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted diseases, and other horrifying conditions.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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