Help Yourself, Take Self Defense

Why the self defense classes at Mt. SAC are the best physical education classes for students to take


Graphic by Leni Santos/SAC.Media.

Are you looking for a class to fulfill your physical education requirement? Are you not very interested in sports? Are you looking for a nice workout? Are you tired of taking classes that have absolutely nothing to do with the real world? Well, here at Mt. SAC, we have a couple classes to fit your exact needs.

Among the various martial arts offered by the college’s “Kinesiology: Individual” courses, students will find two self defense options. Generally, students take KINI 29, “Self Defense and Martial Arts.” However, starting last year, female students now have the option of registering for KINI 34, “Women’s Self Defense.” In both classes, students can find helpful offensive and defensive techniques that can be applied outside of class, a great way to get some exercise without the pressure of keeping up with a team and a fantastic way to boost your self-confidence.

Now, I’m sure plenty of students have asked the question “Why do I need to know this?” at some point in their education. Anyone registering in either of these classes, though, shouldn’t have to bother with even thinking of such a question.

In both classes, instructors teach different actions that can be used in a variety of situations. In KINI 29, this includes “three ranges of combat: grappling, kick and punch, and weapons range,” according to the course catalog. Along with this, students can learn “escapes from grabs and holds, how and where to strike an assailant, how to roll and fall safely, and theories of attack and defense.” Of course, all of these lessons are also offered in KINI 34, but are more attuned to the bodies of women and unfortunately common situations they might find themselves in.

Then there’s the fact that if you’re looking for a way to strengthen up or lose some weight, these two classes are great options for those who haven’t had a lot of prior experience.

Plus, instructors provide multiple lessons from other KINI classes such as “Jeet Kune Do,” “Filipino Martial Arts,” “Kickboxing” and even “Yoga.” This makes the classes great options for those who can’t decide between different classes and don’t quite want to commit to one or the other yet. So, along with getting a great workout, students have the opportunity to find a new interest to continue strengthening their bodies, as well as their minds while attending school.

And the best part of it all is that your workout depends on you. The instructors put an emphasis on personal growth and finding one’s own rhythm and style through the exercises. Of course, there are opportunities to spar with others, but in the end, it’s about self-improvement, not competition. Which leads into the final reason for why the self defense classes are great options for the general population.

Not only do these classes teach you to protect yourself, but they can give you a massive boost to your self-confidence. Especially for those taking “Women’s Self Defense,” these classes are meant to provide you with the knowledge to walk the streets with your mind at ease.

Along with this, they give a sort of physical proof of your own capability not found in the usual letter you’ll find on that essay you spent a night working on. You gain control of your body and learn more about how to make it move to your advantage rather than simply running away or taking a fall. Throughout the weeks of classes, you can see how you’ve improved from learning the basics to creating your own combinations. Each and every lesson is meant for the class to learn, but also for the individual to improve on.

So, if you have the space in your schedule and want to learn something that’s actually helpful, I highly recommend grabbing a friend and registering for the school’s self defense classes. And in the words of one of the “Self Defense and Martial Arts” instructors, Mike Rivas, “Be careful, there are monsters out there – real ones!”