Opinion: Self-defense increased my feeling of self-sufficiency


My mom has always told me she never wanted me to be one of those helpless females that couldn’t survive on my own without a man around; she made sure I knew to pay attention to my surroundings.

She made sure I was smart about the decisions I made and taught me that even though I shouldn’t have to be worried about being attacked, I needed to be on my guard. When the Shooting Sports Club sent out the email about a self-defense class, I figured I needed to learn how to put the physical aspect to work.

I was 30 minutes late because of a tennis match, so I missed the classroom portion. However, I made it in time to start the physical defense part. It was great to be able to start learning as soon as I walked in the door.

Sergeant Keith Romp came in and taught us different ways to defend ourselves. The moves ranged from preventing someone from grabbing you as they came at you, to what you should do if you end up on the ground. We went through each move until we were all able to do it comfortably. Some of the moves we could practice with a partner and others were ones we had to practice on our own, so we didn’t hurt each other.

I expected more discussion and less demonstration, but was pleasantly surprised. It was great to be able to keep working through different scenarios and to learn how to extract ourselves from them.

Even though we were learning the whole time and staying active, it did get to be a long course. I don’t regret spending four hours doing it, but it was a lot to take in during one single session. It would be great if there could be a consistent course offered every week or two, instead of trying to fit it all in one day. Having it more often would also allow people to practice what they learned during a previous session.

I’ll admit it did make me slightly more paranoid and freaked out, but maybe that will be good for me and make me more aware.

Overall, it was a great experience and it did help me to feel more capable of defending myself. I’m a pretty short person; so knowing how to use it to my advantage in a bad situation could come in handy. I know my mom will be proud of me for learning how to be more self-sufficient and protect myself when no one else is around.