BYU-Idaho students attended an introductory self-defense class on Oct. 25 in the John W. Hart Building wrestling room.
Shon Barnes, owner of Shito-Ryu Martial Arts studio in Rigby and BYU-I food services vending technician, taught the class.
Barnes taught students how to get out of basic attack situations, like an arm grab or headlock. He also gave tips about avoiding dangerous situations and warned students to show confidence and pay attention to their surroundings.
“Always be ready,” Barnes said. “And be aware of what’s around you.”
Barnes said that BYU-I students can also prepare for hostile situations by attending BYU-I self-defense classes.
Barnes focused on the importance of women knowing self-defense. He said that although attacks on men are increasing, it’s still more common for women to be assaulted. He gave some tips about what women can do to avoid these situations.
“You don’t want to be a victim. You want confidence; eye contact is everything,” Barnes said.
Barnes said walking right and keeping eye contact discourages a malicious person from attacking.
Barnes also warned students to not feel too comfortable on dates.
“Don’t be too trusting,” Barnes said. “Know the person before you go anywhere with them. Make sure other people know where you’re going.”
Richard Hartman, a senior studying recreation management, helped coordinate the class. He said he and other coordinators put on this event because they feel it’s important for students to learn self-defense.
“We wanted to give people more confidence in their ability to protect themselves,” Hartman said.
Hartman gave similar advice as Barnes to BYU-I students.
“Pay attention and act on your feelings,” Hartman said. “The best self-defense is to never have to get in a self-defense situation.”
Hartman and other coordinators put on this event as encouragement for students to participate in more martial arts classes. BYU-I’s offers martial arts classes including jiu jitsu, tae kwon do and capoeira.
Hartman said the classes benefit students physically and socially.
“The camaraderie is great. You’ll have people come to class, and after one class, they’re like best friends,” Hartman said.
Hartman urged students to come try the classes.
“It can’t hurt to try,” Hartman said. “Well, it might hurt a little bit, but it will go away the next day.”