Self-defense workshops help the UNO community stay safe

Photo by Timothy Eaves.

Ashley Morton

The University of Nebraska-Omaha Campus Recreation has partnered with 4 Horsemen Security to create self-defense workshops so participants have a fighting chance in dangerous situations.

Self-defense training “increases your options and helps you prepare responses to avoid, slow down, de-escalate, or interrupt an attack, and also empowers one to prevent violence,” according to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Participants will learn about what perpetrators look for when selecting their victims and practice reality-based techniques for recognizing and stopping a threat, according to the University’s website.

UNO student Sydney Straw recently attended one of the self-defense workshops and had nothing but good things to say about her experience.

“My favorite part about the self-defense class was learning techniques for specific, real-life scenarios where knowing self-defense would be crucial,” Straw said. “If you encounter a dangerous situation, the better chances you have of being safe if you are more comfortable with the techniques you have learned. The more you practice, the more the techniques become second nature to you in a scary situation.”

This is the third year for the program. Thus far, the workshop has seen over 150 participants and Campus Recreation is looking to expand to offer large sessions to specific sororities/groups.

Zach Himmelberg, the graduate assistant for Mav Kids and instructional programs at Campus Recreation, said the department has high hopes for programs like these:

“Our hope is that people will leave the course better suited to defend themselves in their environment by using the skills they learned in class. We are hoping to foster a sense of security and well-being in each participant in the program and hopefully on campus.”

Thanks to Zach’s boss and Campus Recreation director, Lisa Medina, connecting with 4 Horsemen Security was meant to be:

“There’s always been in an interest in self-defense in Campus Recreation and the director, Lisa, was actually initially interested in this course as a way to build off of the Martial Arts program,” Himmelberg said. “Lisa meta mutual friend of 4 Horseman and found out that 4 Horseman was looking to expand into instructional programs outside of their own work and they offered to teach the classes for free and only ask participants to bring a donation to the Lydia house.”

The workshop offers beginner and intermediate classes and encourages anyone interested to sign up. The self-defense workshops are held in a safe training environment and are open to the entire UNO community.While beginner courses offered at the beginning of the workshop have passed, there is still opportunity to participate in the intermediate class on April 5, from 2-4 pm. You can register and find more information on the University’s website.