Self-defense class offered for students

Students learn Krav Maga

Written By Hayley Keys, Co-News Editor

On Friday, Oct. 25, Future Educators of America hosted a self-defense class for students. The event took place in a racquetball room in the Student Center and was run by Kathy Kluk, a teacher at Krav Maga Pittsburgh.

“What Krav Maga literally means is close combat,” Kluk said. “It relies on your natural instincts, and it’s hand to hand combat with no weapons.”

The class worked on basic kicking and punching combinations that students could use in dangerous situations. Kluk said every class she teaches is different, and students don’t need any prior experience to be able to keep up.

“I think it’s really important for both men and women,” Kluk said. “It is specifically important for women because statistics of violence and sexual assault is extremely high, specifically during your four years here in college.”

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) 23.1% of female undergraduate students and 5.4% of male undergrauate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

Kluk focused on the importance of awareness and how it could be a good self-defense mechanism. She also mentioned that all students should be able to know how to defend themselves if needed.

“It’s important to be able to be aware of your surroundings,” Kluk said. “But it is also good to have the weapons you need, and I don’t mean like a knife or gun, to defend yourself and get away.”

According to Kluk, self-defense can be beneficial for students, not only during their college years, but also once they enter the work force.

“It’s a lifelong skill that you can learn and keep with you,” Kluk said. “Tonight, we went over groin kicks, and I think that is a pretty easy technique to catch onto. Hopefully that will stick in your head, and, if a situation arises, something might trigger your memory and help you.”

Madalena Price, a junior secondary education English and special education major, is the president of Point Park’s chapter of the Future Educators of America. She said that the club wanted to help give skills to students that they could use in their careers.

“We wanted to be able to prepare not only our members but also open it up to the school to allow anyone to learn these vital skills,” Price said. 

According to Price, self-defense can help boost confidence, something she feels is important no matter what career a student is pursuing.

“I feel like having confidence just helps you succeed no matter what major or career goal you want,” Price said. “If you have that confidence then you can use it.”

Kelly Parr, a freshman dance major, came to the class in an attempt to learn how to defend herself in the city.

“I’m from a really rural area, so I’ve never had any sort of experience with self-defense,” Parr said. “I knew moving to the city was kind of going to be a big change, and in the country, you could walk down the street and say ‘hi’ to everyone.”

Parr said she felt the skills she had learned could help her adjust to her new life downtown, especially in areas where she felt uncomfortable.

“I just got a job and I don’t get out until about 9:30, and I walk back by myself, so I just wanted to make sure I had a way to defend myself. Especially when I walk by bus stops or other places, I feel could put [myself] in compromising situations,” Parr said.

According to Parr, the class gave her simple skills that she felt she could realistically accomplish and remember how to execute.

“I thought the skills were things that were easy to remember and things that I actually might be able to use if I needed to,” Parr said.

Parr also encouraged other students to come out if another class was offered. She said the skills she learned would help her and could help others if they gave it a chance.

“Don’t be scared to embarrass yourself,” Parr said. “Everyone is here to learn, and your safety is more important that any embarrassing event that could happen in the classroom.”