Women ‘fight back’ at self-defense workshops

A women’s self-defense workshop, taught by faculty member Kaneda Matthayasack, was held at the JJC U-building auditorium on Saturday, Nov.12.

The workshop was set up to help prepare women for the possible event of being attacked and what should be done to help stay safe in such an occurrence.

“The attacker is out to hurt you,” said Matthayasack during the workshop. “You don’t want to hurt your attacker, you want to cause physical injury to your attacker during the physical attack.”

It was emphasized throughout the workshop by Matthayasack that “personal safety starts within you.”

Before the lessons began, Matthayasack coached the women in breathing and stretching exercises to correct posture and help clear participants’ minds.

After breathing and stretching, the women began their workshop by being taught various techniques in kicking and punching.

Punches and kicks were practiced on both Matthayasack and fellow JJC student volunteer for the day, Raymond Buchanan.

“I feel as though I learned a lot, mostly from the women who were there,” Raymond said. “I learned that these women wanted to empower themselves and were willing to learn … I also learned proper striking techniques and vital pressure points to go after.”

Not every technique taught in the workshop could be used in a real life situations. Each individual in the room was different, so what might had worked for one woman does not necessarily mean it would work for another woman.

Lots of techniques and tricks were taught but there was special emphasis on the need for focus, control and to always be one step ahead of the attacker.

Kathy Beckendorf,a  participant at the workshop said she had learned valuable techniques. “…it’s important to be a few steps ahead of an attacker and you can’t be afraid of hurting someone if they have shown clear intentions that they are going to harm you.”

When asked if she would suggest this workshop to someone else, Beckendorf said she would. “We went over breathing correctly, having confidence, and letting out possibly unknown aggression we were harboring.”

“I would say that attending this workshop will be the best decision that [someone] could ever make,” Buchanan said. “You never know when you will need to defend yourself.”

Those who are interested in attending one of Matthayasack’s personal safety workshops should be sure to look towards possible dates for this year December and January, as there is not an official date set at the time.