As the number of sexual assaults on college campuses increase and the “me too” movement progresses, students and faculty on Oklahoma Christian University’s campus now have the opportunity to sharpen their self-defense skills.
The free self-defense class will take place Mondays at 5:45 p.m. in the barn for the remainder of this semester. According to a statement from the Team OC website, the class is structured to prepare students for real-life situations, and no experience is necessary.
“[The self-defense class] builds self-confidence, provides real-world functional defensive measures and teaches situational awareness in a fun way,” Team OC said. “This class will also help you assess your physical fitness right where you’re at and will incorporate the arts of boxing, striking, grappling, hand grabs, choke-holds, massage, pressure points, head and core, breathing, relaxing, etc.”
Freshman Emmaline Prinz attended the first self defense class Jan. 8th where instructor Sherry Klein focused on basic self defense mechanisms.
“We started off with breathing exercises and she talked about how it’s important to be prepared to breathe properly,” Prinz said. “If you’re breathing properly, you won’t be as exhausted as fast. I plan to go again, because I feel like the first [skills] we learned were very basic and I’m hoping we’ll build on that, so we can be better prepared.”
According to Freshman Allie Steward, the class provided a chance for her to learn skills, which are necessary in modern day society.
“I thought it would be a very good opportunity for me to learn some defensive mechanisms and my parents thought that it would be a good idea,” Steward said. “The world is not a safe place, especially for females, [and] if you want to do anything independently, you should know how to defend yourself in case there is someone there to attack you or take advantage of you.”
According to Rainn.org, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and hotline, women aged 18–24 are at an elevated risk of sexual violence. Although Oklahoma Christian has an explicit policy on sexual assault, Prinz said she understands an attack of this nature could occur at any time.
“I feel that it’s important for everyone to be prepared in case any situation were to arise,” Prinz said. “I feel that, especially as a college female, it’s important to have skills and to be prepared, just because the statistics are that so many people actually end up needing to use [self-defense] skills.”