October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In addition to spreading awareness of the signs of abuse throughout the month, self-defense training is encouraged. The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, KU Recreation Services, Student Senate and the Campus Safety Committee sponsor free self-defense classes for all KU students. Students who take the classes learn techniques of Krav Maga, a less-traditional martial art that prepares people to handle realistic attacks, including punches, kicks, chokes, headlocks and how to disarm an attacker.
TARA BRYANT: With Domestic Violence Awareness Month coming to a close next week, Don and Susan Booth, instructors at Premier Martial Arts, say they want to remind people that self-defense is important for everyone. The Booths also teach this free Krav Maga class for KU students twice a week at the Ambler Student Recreation Center.
SUSAN BOOTH: I recommend everybody know Krav Maga, not just women, but especially women for sure.
DON BOOTH: Krav Maga is more about a practical self-defense. It’s more of a street-style self-defense. That’s kind of the reason we’re teaching it now too.
TB: Only two violent crimes occurred on the KU campus in 2011, according to the Public Safety Office, but just last week a woman was robbed at gunpoint near Stouffer Place Apartments. Susan Booth stresses the importance of knowing self-defense for this reason.
SB: A lot of people think, “You know, it’s a good idea to know self-defense,” and they think they should do it, but they don’t do it. My advice is to just do it. Go take a class and try it. Any experience is better than none – no experience.
TB: Brittany Varnado, a freshman from Scott City, says she encourages everyone to try at least one self-defense class.
BRITTANY VARNADO: Pick a self-defense technique that you like: Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do, you know, whatever. Just go to one class and try it out…that – you’ll definitely end up liking something.
TB: This is Tara Bryant for Health on the Hill.