Learning to pack a punch

By The Beacon | September 30, 2010 9:00pm


UP hosts self-defense classes taught by Portland Jujitsu. This program consists of five weekly lessons in basic defensive skills. Below, Beacon reporter Enid Spitz shares what she learned in the Sept.

Sensei Miller teaches a student how to properly strike an opponent using the heel of the hand. (Enid Spitz -- The Beacon)

By Enid Spitz, Staff Commentary -- spitz13@up.edu

The first step is the defensive position: wide stance, dominant foot forward, knees bent, hands out in front of you.

"Of course, we're not advocating violence," sensei Steve Miller, from Portland Jujitsu, said, "but students need to know how to protect themselves because there are those type of people out there."

Miller recommends using the heel of your hand to hit an attacker's chin. This will cause the attacker's head to fly back, giving you a chance to escape. Any random object can become a tool for self-defense as well. Using your phone or a pen as a weapon could help deter any attacker.

What Miller stressed most adamantly is the importance of your life above all else. Any left behind item can be replaced — you should focus on protecting yourself and then get out of the threatening situation as quickly as possible.

Even with just a few tips like these, I can now feel more confident in my ability to protect myself should the need ever arise.

Sensei Miller's tips:

  • Don't keep your back to a potential attacker.
  • If you feel threatened, call someone on your phone (don't text!)
  • Hit with the heel of your hand, it's the strongest part and you won't risk snapping your wrist.
  • Yell "Back off" rather than "Stay away." You don't want the first word out of your mouth to be "stay."
  • Use the element of surprise. Main points of weakness: chin, nose, throat.

The final session is next Tues. in the Mehling Ballroom at 8:30 p.m.

Beacon Staffer Enid Spitz.

(Enid Spitz -- The Beacon)