Self-defense class at HPER

Photo Courtesy of Self Defense at UNO

Megan DeBoer

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Campus Recreation teamed up with 4 Horsemen Security to host a self-defense work-shop in HPER 124 Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The workshop was free and open to the UNO community. In lieu of a registration fee, 4 Horsemen asked participants to donate toiletry items to the Lydia House.

CEO of 4 Horsemen Security and professional correctional officer Wade Stephens said the workshop focused on how to get away, not how to fight. After completing the workshop, Stephens said participants have a better understanding of how to detect a threat and learned how to be more aware of their surroundings.

Attendees also learned and performed reality based techniques to help them stop a threat, escape and find safety. The class covered balance displacement, breakaways and strikes. Stephens said his techniques focus on stuns to the ears and eyes, how to get out of front and back chokeholds, how to escape being grabbed by a ponytail and how to maneuver out of a bear hug.

“My approach is very hands on and interactive,” Stephens said.

Stephens used his knowledge as a correctional officer to educate participants in what perpetrators look for when choosing a victim. His information comes first hand from criminals he works with who are serving a minimum of 40 years to life in prison.

“Most [perpetrators] are lazy,” Stephens said. “They don’t want to fight so they’ll pick who they think will be an easy target.”

When selecting victims, many culprits look for people who aren’t paying attention, Stephens said. In the age of modern technology, miscreants seek out those in “electronic handcuffs,” meaning people who are engrossed in their phones, unaware of their surroundings and won’t see a threat coming. Culprits may also target people who walk with slumped shoulders with their head down.

“It’s all about how you carry yourself,” Stephens said.

UNO graduate assistant Shannon Mettling helped coordinate the event with 4 Horsemen and participated in the self defense workshop held on campus in October 2016.

“It’s important to know what to do in a situation and always be prepared,” Mettling said. “After taking this class in October, it really makes you aware of your surroundings. You know, when you walk to your car at night, you kind of look around and think about [the possibilities of an attack].”

Campus Recreation hopes to host another self-defense workshop in April with 4 Horsemen.