I was recently asked to participate in a self-defense class with a few fellow faculty members. In all honesty, I agreed to attend just to be part of the group, and I did not really put much thought into the content we would learn in the class.
In retrospect, I should have been more prepared. To be clear, I am not referring to being prepared physically (I am an avid runner for the past two years), but more of being prepared mentally.
The Grand Canyon University Department of Public Safety offered the class, and it began with an overview of the purpose of the class with examples provided on when we might have to use self-defense. The head instructor, Officer Ryan Sand, did an excellent job of providing examples to the point where the severity, and importance, of this training started to take hold of my thoughts.
I have never been in a fight, nor have I taken any martial arts classes. I quickly focused on the content of the class as I felt quite unprepared and the thought of not being ready to protect myself and my students drove me to learn as much as I could over the brief two-hour class.
Over the two hours, I learned various defense stances and ways to protect myself from an attacker with and without a weapon. The training involved effective strikes while upright and while on the ground. In addition, we practiced ways to grab a pistol from an attacker. As you can guess, my heart rate was elevated during the training from physical activity as well as a sympathetic response brought upon from the simulated fight or flight experience.
Over the following days after the training, I had many conversations with other faculty, staff and students about my experience and I realized that not many had participated in a self-defense class. This was a little disconcerting as I would hope that more people would be able to assist in an emergency situation. I am glad that I went to the training as it opened my eyes to the need to be aware of potential dangerous situations which might arise at a university and/or in any public place.
In addition, I realized that I just learned a small portion of self-defensive tactics. I look forward to a similar training every year to become more prepared to help myself and others. The GCU Public Safety training team was helpful, understanding and supportive to a novice in this arena, and I look forward to their future trainings.
I would highly recommend if you have never participated in a self-defense training class that you do. Being prepared could make a huge difference in an emergency situation.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.