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Everyone Should Take a Self Defense Class and Here’s Why

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Lutheran chapter.

At the start of this semester, I knew I needed to take my health class requirement for my undergraduate degree, but I didn’t just want to pick a dance or yoga class. I wanted to take a class that could benefit me in the future since I am paying for my education. Thus when I saw the words “Self Defense and Assault Prevention” available as a class that would fill that requirement, I immediately added it to my ‘wishlist’ of classes and knew that I wanted to take it.

Though at the time I wanted to take it just to fulfill a requirement, now I look back at my experiences and I’m super grateful for signing up for the class. I’ve learned many valuable skills about how to defend myself, as well as just learning about the human body and its vulnerabilities. Thus, regardless of gender, I think everyone at some point in their life should sign up to take a self-defense class. I would like to share a few of my top reasons as to why I think it would be beneficial.

“Viewing the World in the Eyes of a Predator”

One of the first assignments I remember from starting the course was that we had to “view the world in the eyes of a predator,” according to my professor. This meant watching others and searching for vulnerabilities in them, whether they were looking at their phones, oblivious to their surroundings, or watching whether people knew they were being followed. The experience really helped me understand what attackers are looking for in finding victims, and now I make it a point to check my surroundings every thirty seconds around me to maintain my spatial awareness. In doing this, it can reduce my chance of being attacked, and even something as simple as being more alert to my surroundings is something I hadn’t considered as ‘self-defense’ before this class.

Getting to Know and Identify the “Hit” Points of the Human Body

Something I’ve noticed throughout the class is where the ‘best’ places are in the body to attack. My professor specifically pointed out that any damage to the neck, face, and shoulder area can be colloquially called the “Bermuda Triangle” and can be useful in taking down an attacker quickly without too much force. Because of this, many of the moves I’ve learned involve practicing both offensive and defensive techniques for these areas. A key theme throughout this course is that there are many ways to fight back against an attacker, so many of the moves build on each other to target these areas.

Practicing What You’ve Learned With Others in Real-Time

One of my biggest reasons for wanting to take this class was because I wanted to be back in person after having to do a year and a half of online classes. My biggest recommendation about this course is that you get to practice with other people who want to learn how to defend themselves just like you. In my class, we get to pair up with a partner and practice moves on each other (lightly of course), which is super helpful to feel what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, getting feedback from the professor in person is really helpful versus taking the class online, as he usually scans the room and steps in to answer questions or correct certain mistakes that are often overlooked. All in all, being able to take this class in person really helps me lean into training my body on what to remember in case I ever get attacked (knock on wood), and I’m grateful that I get to try out each move physically.

My biggest recommendation about this course is that you get to practice with other people who want to learn how to defend themselves just like you.

The reasons for taking a self-defense class are endless, so these are just a few to help you consider taking a college class or even finding a studio somewhere off campus to learn self-defense. It’s a skill that will always be beneficial no matter how old you are or what your gender is – no one deserves to be assaulted. I’m grateful for my experience in the class, and I will definitely be recommending my friends to take it next semester.

Alex Warrender

Cal Lutheran '23

Hello, my name is Alex, and I'm the Senior Writing and Editing Director for the Cal Lutheran University chapter. I’m a senior Psychology Major who loves to devour books and write poetry in my spare time. I also love to play D&D and go thrifting when I can.