Women’s self defense teaches valuable skills

By Jeanette Fritz

If you want more confidence in defending yourself from an attacker, a self-defense class is exactly what you need.

Lesley Rigg, associate dean of research and graduate affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, hosted the Rape Aggression Defense class Monday night in Founder’s Memorial Library.

The class taught attendants moves to help them escape if they are physically attacked. Rigg said one in five women are raped or experience an attempted rape.

As scary as that number may seem, the class helped give the women who attended, including myself, the tools to help prevent us from being that one.

Though Rigg is a black belt in karate, she wants women to prevent themselves from being attacked altogether.

She also urged them to only resort to fighting someone if it’s absolutely necessary, and said they should not continue to fight once they have the opportunity to run away from the situation.

The most important self defense to know is simply yelling “Stop” or “No” while throwing your arms in an X-shape in front of your face, Rigg said.

If your sudden outburst of distress doesn’t scare off the man, woman or whatever scum who is trying to attack you, that is your signal to start fighting.

It’s important to remember, as I learned, an assailant may stop attacking you if they are unable to see or breathe.

So, the eyes, nose and throat are the best places to throw those hardcore punches.

To Rigg, it’s important to teach women’s self defense because it is “empowering” and it gives women the “knowledge and tools they need so they don’t have to feel helpless” in the unfortunate event of an attack.

“You are never too young or too old to start taking self-defense classes,” Rigg said.

Rebecca Roberts, freshman business administration major, attended the self-defense class. Though it was a requirement for one of her classes, Roberts said she “enjoyed the class” and would recommend her friends attend a future event.

Since all women are potential victims of sexual assault, it’s important to be “SAFE” and “SASSY,” as a handout from the class read. Prevent an attack by following the “SAFE” method.

The handout instructs you to “scope” and “see,” be “aware of” and “avoid” dangerous situations, “fight fiercely” and “escape.” The five steps to being “SASSY” include stance, attitude, signal your attacker to stop, say stop with your body and yell “Stop.”

Attending the women’s self-defense class was a no-brainer. Being 5-foot and barely 100 pounds, it would be extremely easy for a 10-year-old child to take me down, let alone a full grown man.

After taking the class and learning key moves to free myself from someone else’s grip, I have nothing but total confidence I could kick someone’s butt if I needed to.

If you would like to learn these moves, you and a group of nine other girls can get in contact with Rigg and have a personal class.

Together and with the right training, we women can give “fight like a girl” a new meaning.