Girls fight back: A self-defense course

Jenny Connell

Empowerment and self-defense are important traits for any female college student to have, and Quinnipiac University recently provided the means to gain both. On Oct. 28, Burt Kahn court was filled with girls eager to learn self-defense techniques during the program, “Girls Fight Back.”

Courtney McKenna, assistant director of the Student Center, had been planning the event for over a month and was able to collaborate with all the sororities on campus as well as WAVE and the Athletics program.

“Women should always be aware of how to protect themselves,” McKenna said.

“This is an issue for all women on campus to be aware of,” Alpha Chi Omega President Jillian Clancy said. “Plus Halloween is right around the corner, and you never can be too safe.”

The event began with a slideshow of startling statistics that raised female self-defense awareness. College-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted, one slide read.

Michaela Jackson was the speaker at the night’s event and had trained at a Girls Fight Back Academy.

“I’m not a fighter, but after my training I felt empowered when I knew I could defend myself,” she said.

Jackson stressed trusting your intuitionas that is essential to being aware of your surroundings, she said.

Being a victim is acting like an easy target, she continued. Women need to comport themselves with a positive body language and always act alert.

Jackson also advised not to let maintenance people into your dorm or apartment who just drop by without an appointment.

“Nobody should just drop by and expect to gain access to your home. Tell them to call and make an appointment next time,” she said.

“Also make sure when you’re moving into a new house that they replace the locks,” said Jackson.

The Internet is another world for predator opportunity and advancement. Before posting personal information online, Jackson advised asking these two questions: “Would I want my mom to see this, and would I want a serial killer to see this?”

Jackson then brought up her three step technique which she refers to as the “badass ballerina.” The moves include puncturing the assailant’s nose with the palm of the hand, grabbing the head and kneeing the face, and ultimately kicking in the groin.

“I feel empowered,” Brie Cuffe of Phi Sigma Sigma said. “If I were put into that situation I would feel a little more confident.”

But more programs to help Quinnipiac’s females protect themselves would be welcome, she said.

“My solution to this growing issue would be for Quinnipiac to offer self-defense classes weekly instead of once a year,” Cuffe said.