The Tech Martial Arts Club hosted a self-defense seminar for Texas Tech students and Lubbock locals to learn basic self-defense skills at the Recreation Center.   

Since martial arts is a contact sport, TMAC has not been able to do much the past few semesters due to the pandemic. In an effort to revitalize the club, club member KeiLi Buckner, a second-year sociology and criminology student from San Antonio, said this is a good way for TMAC to give back to the community, while also helping the club continue.

I feel like being on a college campus, it's like its own universe and its own things can happen there," Buckner said. "Like all the crime alerts we’ve gotten lately like, that’s pretty good motivation to learn some self-defense."

The lessons are available to everyone, and no former training or experience is required. 

With no formal martial arts training, Daniel Hsia, a third-year biochemistry student from Plano, said he attended because his friend brought him along and he had an interest in learning some martial arts techniques. 

Give it a shot. Even if you suck at it. Don't worry, we're not here to judge, you’re here to learn,” Hsia said.  

Hsia attended the seminar with Corvus Koithan, a third-year physics student from Cypress. Koithan has had prior martial arts experience and said this would be a perfect opportunity to freshen up on some self-defense skills. 

Both Hsia and Koithan said they have been a bit alarmed by the recent Tech crime alerts, making them more inclined to attend the TMAC self-defense seminar. 

“There's just another (Tech crime alert) and it's just another and there's another and it's like, oh, well, you know, something happens, I want to be prepared," Koithan said.

The seminar was taught by multiple instructors who all had something to share and teach the class.  

The session began with basic warm-ups such as jogging, push-ups, high knees and more. Afterwards, the instructors began their lessons. 

“It's just kind of basic self-defense techniques that you can use in a variety of situations from like, someone's coming up behind you, someone's coming in front of you, how to defend yourself and basically just how to stay safe overall,” Buckner said. 

Through the seminar’s variety of techniques, participants had the opportunity to switch partners for the benefit of practicing self-defense on various body types. For example, students who practiced on a volunteer who was shorter than them switched to a volunteer who was taller.  

Participants got the ability to practice self-defense on people bigger than them, for example. Hsia said this will give those people a bit of an edge with their newfound self-defense knowledge and techniques. 

With a background in boxing, Ruben Ramos, a first-year civil engineering student from Dallas, said he wanted to attend the class to receive proper instruction on self-defense from the seminar’s instructors.    

I think it's, you know, essential to like, you know, fend for yourself to have some sort of confidence to be able to do many things,” Ramos said.  

TMAC hosted the seminar in hopes of helping people and teaching them proper self-defense in an easy and affordable way, Jessica Lafond, the president of TMAC, said. 

The club hopes to host similar events at least once or twice a semester, said Lafond, a first-year doctoral student from San Antonio studying environmental engineering. 

“Hopefully, you never need it,” Lafond said. “It's just, like, easy things people can do to keep themselves safe or, if you're with people, to protect other people.” 

Throughout the seminar, instructors and volunteers walked around, helping every participant, and provided one on one assistance wherever needed.  

Students were taught safe ways to get out of an unsafe situation, as the seminar educated that self-defense is not to start a fight, but to safely get away from it.  

No experience is needed, and self-defense is something that could maybe one day save your life so, you should never be afraid to try it,” Buckner said. “You never want to use it but just, it can't hurt knowing it. 

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