DPS holds self-defense classes

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Students participated in the first of four self-defense classes taught by the Department of Public Safety last Monday. Photo by Valeria Cardenas/ valeria.cardenas@mu.edu.

When people think of self-defense, karate chops and roundhouse kicks typically come to mind. On Monday, however, when the Department of Public Safety offered its first of four free self-defense classes for Marquette students, more basic moves and information took center stage.

The program took place in the Alumni Memorial Union room 227 and was attended by roughly 15 students.

Joseph Secanky, a crime prevention officer for DPS, led the class, along with Lt. Ruth Petersen. The classes typically last about an hour. DPS also conducts these defense classes for any sorority, fraternity, residence hall floor or student group upon request.

“We are getting a mix of everybody,” Secanky said, referring to those who typically attend the self-defense classes. “It is not just one particular group of people. It is very diverse.”

Andrea Dunn, a senior in the College of Engineering, attended the first class with her sorority sisters in hopes of becoming better educated about defending herself from potential threats.

“It was a very informative class on how to defend yourself in unexpected situations,” Dunn said.

The class started with a presentation that lasted for about 25 minutes. From there, students were instructed to work in pairs as Secanky taught them defensive strategies. Attendees used blue pads to prevent injury. Some popular defense techniques were the classic knee-to-the-abdomen and “the hammer,” where students used a closed fist to strike downward.

“My favorite part of teaching these classes is getting the information out to our students and making them aware that there is crime out in this world, as well as teaching them potential strategies of how to defend themselves if put in that situation,” Secanky said.

Maggie Thelen, a freshman in the College of Communication, said she took the class for fun but did not expect to learn so much.

“I enjoyed it a lot,” Thelen said. “However, it also gave me more information as to the defensive moves I was learning.”

The self-defense class has a life-long benefit in the case that one would be put in a situation of being attacked.

“I love when somebody would come to the class with little to no knowledge of self-defense strategies and be able to walk out of the class with that much more information,” Secanky said. “ Also, if they were a situation in the real world, they (would be) able to prevent it.”

When asked what advice he would give students who did not take the class, Secanky emphasized the importance of taking advantage of Marquette’s safety resources.

“Be aware of your surroundings, use the resources that the university offers and utilize the blue light phones,” Secanky said.

To sign up for a self-defense class, call DPS or go to its website where times and dates are available. The next scheduled classes are on Oct. 22 and Nov. 6.

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