5 Benefits of Taking a Self-Defense Class

As I walked into my first session of a self-defense class at the University of Oregon, I wasn’t exactly sure what had possessed me to sign up for this class a few months ago. First of all, I didn’t fit in. Ninety-five percent of the girls around me were physically fit and intimidating — the type of girls who nobody would mess with anyway. Second of all, the teacher was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Maybe I had been horribly mistaken all my life, but I was under the impression that self-defense entailed cool flips and punches (stuff that you can’t really accomplish in jeans and a t-shirt).

I soon found that my negativity was dumb and childish, because self-defense proved to be the most important class I have taken thus far in my college experience. Not only did I learn how to defend myself against a person of any size, I learned how to change my presence from that of a victim to that of a strong and confident woman. The teacher’s casual dress on the first day of class made increasingly more sense throughout the term as I began to realize that defending yourself is as much of a mental exercise as a physical one. I highly recommend this course to incoming freshmen or anyone who is tired of living in fear. The tangible lessons that this class leaves with you are permanent, and everyone should consider registering because of these 5 benefits.

1. Walking Alone at Night isn’t Scary Anymore

Bad people are a lot less intimidating when you know how to choke someone unconscious with a simple stranglehold.

2. The People Taking the Class with You are Literal Badasses

Despite how intimidating your fellow classmates will look on the first day, you can depend on them becoming a primary source of inspiration for going to the gym and looking people straight in the eye.

3. You Learn How to Spot Threatening Behavior

Instead of just breaking boards with your bare fists, the self-defense class offered at the U of O specializes in incorporating defense against real dangerous situations. Danger isn’t always the guy in the shadowy corner, sometimes it’s the controlling guy who keeps pushing you to drink more at a party.

4. It’s Fun to Beat People Up Randomly in the Middle of the Day

Seriously. You get to pretend-fight with your classmates, and fighting, without the scary “Am I going to survive this?” part, is actually pretty fun.

5. You Learn That You are Worth Defending

As sappy as it sounds, understanding how valuable you are and how much respect you deserve is the most amazing feeling. This class helps you understand your self-worth on a whole new level. You don’t just learn about respect, you learn how to expect it.