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Delivering News From The Source

Be Decent hosts self defense Class

By Gary Huizenga

Diana Humble and Dallas Knoop at the Warrior Wrestling Room on September 26

On Thursday, Sept. 26, 17 students from Waldorf University gathered in the Warrior Wrestling Room at the Hanson Fieldhouse for a self-defense class hosted by Be Decent.

This hour and a half class was led by Betsy Marmaras and her husband Gus, who taught them about being aware of threats and what they can do to escape a physical attack.

The Marmarases have been teaching this course for 30 years. Their work began at Iowa State, where they taught self-defense on dorm floors. The Marmaras feel that self-defense and safety are a way of life, affecting everything from how you walk down the street to how you raise your kids.

“I feel really strongly that everyone has the tools to be safe,” said Betsy, “and I want them to feel safe.” She and her husband are incredibly passionate about giving this to the people around them.

The course has two main objectives. The first half consists of the Marmarases sharing information about how to avoid conflict before it begins. This primarily focuses on how to prevent being targeted by potential predators.

The Maramrases go over what sorts of visual cues predators look for in a potential victim and how to avoid giving off signals that could lead them to you.

The second half of the class focuses on physical self-defense. This includes learning how to escape from a variety of different holds, as well as learning some vulnerable spots to aim for when trying to quickly end a fight.

The goal of these methods is ultimately to escape with as little injury as possible. In this section, the Marmarases stressed the importance of being willing to do whatever it takes to get away and not being afraid to hurt your attacker. The students enjoyed having the opportunity to practice these techniques in a safe environment.

“Betsy walked us through what predators look for when they’re finding a target and how to avoid being that person. Then, she taught us some basic self-defense skills and how to get away when people grab hold of us,” said Jacobi Popp, Be Decent president and class attendee.

This is the second class hosted by Be Decent and she plans for the club to host these classes one a semester. The goal is to give people the knowledge and skills they need to get out of difficult situations they may be faced with on or off campus.