Self-defense is a skill most believe is important to know, and for the Women’s Leadership Project with help from the Defensive Tatics Club, those skills were taught and illustrated to the students and people of Hays.
On Saturday, 27 people showed up on campus to take part in a self-defense seminar and practice their skills on the Defensive Tactics Club’s coaches.
“There was a Leadership 310 team in a class last spring that put one on, and they had a huge success,” said Erin Frownfelter, graduate assistant to the Center for Student Leadership. “They had over 70 people show up. So we decided that I should make it something we do regularly,”
With the help of Kenton Russell, faculty adviser for the Defensive Tactics Club, 11 hand-picked coaches from the club worked with everyone to teach basic skills for getting away from an attacker.
Frownfelter said the two organizations teamed together to promote and run the free event.
“The Defensive Tactics Club basically put it on for us, and he had 11 of the students in his club come and act as coaches, so we actually had student coaches for the event, and then the Women’s Leadership project organized it,” Frownfelter said.
“We marketed it, and got people to sign up and come and the Defensive Tactics Club actually put on the event for us.”
Russell said putting on seminars like these is a great plan, but he did have some difficulty promoting them in the beginning.
“I’ve got this great resource, but I’m not good at marketing, and I don’t know how to tell people, ‘Hey, we’ll help you learn how to defend yourself,’ Russell said.
“So right next door, Erin Frownfelter over in Leadership Studies came over one day told me, ‘Hey, for one of our projects, why don’t we market you and you guys can do the work and we can do the marketing,’ and in a little over two weeks, she had about 35 people signed up.”
Russell, who has been teaching self-defense for 27 years, said the seminar not only gathered a good amount of participants, but great feedback as well.
“We got really, really good responses from people,” Russell said. I mean my phones ringing, I’m getting emails that say, ‘Your people were so good to us.’ Basically, it was a day of us helping people learn this neat little thing like how to defend themselves.”
One of the main goals for the Defensive Tactics Club is helping people, and Russell believes that having students and citizens learn these skills can give them the chance to change a life one day, especially his family. Russell said his six-year-old daughter has been sort of an inspiration for having classes like these and help drive his classes.
“I have a daughter, and if I should ever be old enough that I can’t teach her anymore, I hope there’s some guy out there one day like me that does it for nothing,” Russell said.
Russell said one of the most important lessons learned is defense, and the reality that not everything is in your best interest.
“You’re responsible for your behavior, but you can’t be responsible for everyone else. The bottom line is that there are people out there that don’t have good intentions. They don’t have good morals and they weren’t brought up right. Those are the people that you need to defend yourself against.”
Frownfelter said another defense seminar should be put on in the spring.