by Jayme Lowe
On April 5 and 7, the Concordia Health Center had Sheriff Joe Yocum from the Seward County Sheriff’s Office host a free self-defense class for Concordia students and faculty.
The class was taught using first a PowerPoint presentation to explain the concepts and show step-by-step instructions. Then the students participated in physical training of the self-defense techniques.
The class took place in the Cattle Conference Room, where there was enough space for the participants to move around.
This was the fourth year Yocum has taught at self-defense class for students at Concordia, though he has been teaching similar classes for over 10 years. He has led events at a dozen schools and universities.
Yocum said that taking a self-defense class is important because a person could become a victim anywhere and at any time. He said the purpose of the class was to “start individuals thinking of what they would do if they were in a situation.”
The two-day class covered many topics. On Tuesday, they began with prevention strategies, what to do if someone is “aggressively flirtatious,” and how to manage unwanted contact. Yocum pointed out physical signs of these problems, such as if one is being blocked from leaving a situation or being touched in an unasked for way. Yocum also reminded everyone that the aforementioned actions do not yet qualify sexual assault, but they are still wrong and should be dealt with.
In the class on Thursday, Yocum covered countermeasures, avoiding being blindsided or caught unprepared, targets on the body, what to do if one gets away and how to report the situation to the police. One of the goals of the second session was to learn how to defend oneself from varieties of attacks, including being harassed to go somewhere, being pushed to the ground and being picked up.
Sophomore Emma Dannehl attended the self-defense class both nights.
“I want to be able to feel confident with myself if there’s a bad situation,” Dannehl said.
Dannehl said the most memorable piece of advice she received from Yocum was “to refuse to be the victim, and fight, and win, win, win!”
Feature Photo provided by: Seward County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page