Women’s self-defense class held

Police officer demonstrating self-defense mechanisms in the self-defense class.

The counseling center hosted its first ever women’s self defense class on Oct. 17.

The two hour class was held in the Nursing Building student lounge.

Kim Gibson, a counselor for Grambling State University and the event’s coordinator, partnered with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office to teach a class to the female students of Grambling.

One of the instructors, Jeremy Johnson, said the purpose of the class was to give women more knowledge on how to combat potential threats.

“We are helping women learn how to stay safe, and giving them tips and techniques that they can use to stay from harm,” Johnson said.

Johnson explained that it is crucial for women to learn self-defense.

“[You need self-defense] so you can feel more comfortable, equipped and ready to take care of yourself. … and help defend yourself so you can get away from a bad situation, if you find yourself in that position,” Johnson said.

The four instructors, all employees of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, opened the class up by asking students what safety concerns they were having. Many responded about being able to defend themselves against male predators.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn some self-defense with everything [that is] going on,” Angelica Stewart, a junior from New Orleans, said.

The instructors provided advice to the participants on how they can better prevent dangerous situations from occurring. They suggested to never walk alone at night, always pay attention to your surroundings and have your keys out when walking to your car.

Before jumping into self-defense techniques, the class warmed up with jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, sit-ups and neck and calf stretches.

Basic techniques taught in the class included the leaning technique, which is used when someone is trying to push or pull you, and the conflict ready stance, which is how you position your body when you are about to endure conflict.

The sheriffs’ office also taught five different ways to block a hit. Front block protects your face, support block and strong-side block protect the sides of your face, inside block protects your abdomen, and leg block protects you from a kick.

The class then moved on to different types of punches. Participants were granted the opportunity to practice what they learned, softly on each other at first and then at full force on a punching mat.

Students said they walked away feeling more confident in their abilities to defeat a potential predator.

“I took away how to get away from someone, and if they try to pick you up from behind,” Stewart said.  “I learned how to get away if someone chokes me or punches me in any area of the body. Those techniques were very helpful to me.”