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Morning Sun
  • PSU students get defensive

  • The Pittsburg State University students who signed up for the Student Activities Council’s self-defense classes Tuesday evening in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom won’t be hardened martial artists anytime soon. But the seeds have been planted, and with time and practice they could become skilled at fending off attackers.

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  • The Pittsburg State University students who signed up for the Student Activities Council’s self-defense classes Tuesday evening in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom won’t be hardened martial artists anytime soon. But the seeds have been planted, and with time and practice they could become skilled at fending off attackers.
    That was the message Capt. Eric Hollingsworth stressed to the students on Tuesday, as he and instructors from Pitt State’s ROTC Gorilla Battalion showed them various moves combining Jiu Jitsu and Kenpo, among other martial art styles (Army Combatives is based in Jiu Jitsu, but picks and chooses aspects of various international martial arts, including Tae-Kwon Do, Judo, Muay Thai and Russian SOMBO, as well as the aforementioned arts).
    “They’re going to have to practice these moves 100 to 200 times before they’re legit,” Hollingsworth said, adding that the human body requires that number of repetitions before it develops solid muscle memory. “We want them to have confidence, but not false confidence. We want them to have the understanding that you can train your body to protect itself. They need to get to where they can just react.”
    The students learned how to jab to set up palm strikes to the nose, the guillotine choke hold and how to strike an attacker’s neck with their elbow, among others. They spent a lot of time on the mats, learning how to pivot with their attacker if they were forced onto their back, and how to kick pressure points with blunt, directed force.
    Amanda Eckols, a junior in family and consumer sciences education, convinced her friend Katarina Terry and her roommate to sign up for the class.
    “I thought it sounded like something that could be useful to me,” Eckols said. “I hadn’t expected it to be this hard. I was expecting to come in and just kick at people, but there are actually techniques to this.”
    Terry’s roommate, Alexis McKinnon, who is a freshman in education, agreed with Eckols’ assessment.
    “It was fun until I got choked,” McKinnon laughed. “But it was cool, anyway.”
    A fun and educational experience was just what Jordan Simoncic, SAC issues and ideas chair, had hoped the students would have.
    “We wanted to give the students a way to help themselves and promote a healthy lifestyle,” Simoncic said. “It’s also a really good way to blow off some stress in the first week of school.”

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