The K-State Union Program Council hosted its yearly self defense class at the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex on Wednesday.
The event was put on by Derrius Washington, a UPC member and sophomore in business, to show students the importance of learning how to defend themselves.
“The forum puts on this class every year,” Washington said. “We think it is important for everyone to know how to defend themselves, should the need arise.”
Martial arts trainer Joe Wilk led the class. In addition to self-defense classes, Wilk also runs the Combative Sports Center, a martial arts-focused gym in Manhattan.
“The ability to defend yourself brings confidence,” Wilk said. “It’s the kind of confidence that affects the way you walk around and the way people look at you. What we’re trying to do is build that feeling.”
The class consisted of simple defensive techniques that relate to getting out of an assailant’s grasp.
Wilk walked the class through four different movements, ranging from breaking a weaker hand grab to escaping a full on embrace.
While the techniques were only the basics of self defense, most students walked away from the training feeling more capable of protecting themselves.
“The class definitely made me feel more able to defend myself, and made me feel less afraid of certain situations,” Mia Talley, freshman in open option, said.
Although many students felt the class had its benefits, only certain groups of students took advantage of the training. Other than a few exceptions, almost the entire class was made up of female students.
“I think the class is geared toward everyone, but I feel like being a woman on campus means I especially need to know how to defend myself,” Talley said.
The first six weeks of classes has been labeled “The Red Zone” by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network due to the staggering spike in sexual assault from August to November.
Nearly one–fourth of all females who attend college experience rape or sexual assault during their undergraduate years. Female students are at a far greater risk for sexual violence and rape, although men are three times more likely to be victims of physical violence or homicide, according to RAINN.
“We only have one hour,” Wilk said. “We aren’t going to be able to fully teach these people how to fight someone. We just want to teach them some basics so they can feel safer should they ever be put in that situation.”