Self-defense classes offered on campus in ‘The W’

Every fall the Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center offers a class catered towards women that teaches self-defense tactics.

The class was developed for women and is taught in two-different two-hour sessions.

The objectives of the class are that women leave the class having learned simple, effective skills to help prevent and survive an assault, Director of the Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center Sheila Kittleson said.

The class aims to teach awareness, assertiveness, safety strategies and how to use simple, effective techniques to injure vulnerable parts of the body.

The class is taught by “The W’s” resident karate instructor along with his assistant.

“The W” also offers karate classes year round for various ages and genders.

In light of recent events on campus, some students are not feeling as safe as they as once did, Rebekah Corson said.

“Because of what has been happening lately, I went to the store and bought pepperspray,” Corson said. “When I don’t feel safe I hold onto it in my pocket.”

Corson also takes other preventive measures to make herself feel safe on Wartburg’s campus.

“I try my best to be aware of my surroundings and I always check to make sure my door is locked at night and whenever I leave my room,” Corson said.

Kittleson said she has not had any further requests for “The W” to offer year round self-defense classes, but is not opposed to the idea.

“All it would take for us to offer another self-defense class is interest,” Kittleson said. “If we have somebody that says they have a group of six or more people that would like to take a self defense class, ‘the W’ and our instructor are more than happy to do that.”

Corson believes that additional offerings of self defense classes would be beneficial and feels that the majority of the student body would have at least some interest in engaging in something of the sort.

“If there were free self-defense classes offered throughout the year I would definitely be interested in attending,” Corson said.

While Corson would be more than happy to take a self-defense class, she finds it off-putting that women would need to take it at all.

“I think having self-defense classes would be beneficial because people would be able to defend themselves better, but I don’t think that people should have to take self defense classes in order to feel safe,” Corson said.

Another way in which the college could incorporate self-defense practices into the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education is by offering self defense techniques in the Physical Education class that all students are required to take, Kittleson said.

“It certainly wouldn’t hurt to add self defense tactics to the PE curriculum, even just a couple hours to talk about weak points, targets and what to watch for,” Kittleson said.
Anyone who is interested in self defenses should email

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