McNick will host self-defense classes for juniors and seniors during the week of March 12. The classes will be instructed by Kim Weber from Shotokan Karate of Anderson and are free of charge to students, courtesy of the McNick PTSA.
Classes are on March 12, 14, 15, and 16, from 3 -5 p.m. The March 14 class is for men only, and the other three are for women only. School counselor Matt Wehrman will be attending the men’s class. School counselor Kaitlyn Richter will be joining the March 15 class for women, and Director of Counseling and College Readiness Alaina Way will be at the March 12 and 16 classes.
Permission forms were emailed to students on Feb. 20, and are also available in the counseling office. They are due back to administrative assistant Jennifer Tumser by Wednesday, March 7.
“It’s important to give women and men the opportunity to learn self-defense,” Way said. “It was great to see students come out of that timidness… and see [them] feel empowered.” Way attended all of the classes held last year.
Senior Alyssa Taylor attended last year’s self-defense classes as a junior. “I wanted to prepare myself for college should anything happen… and feel like an empowered woman,” she said. She wanted to be able to defend herself and fight off an attacker if necessary.
“I thought it was something I should learn so I can protect myself, and I thought it would be very interesting to do,” senior Allie Smith said. Smith also attended last year’s self-defense classes as a junior.
This is the second year that McNick is offering self-defense classes to upperclassmen. Kim Weber, co-founder and chief instructor of Shotokan Karate of Anderson, taught classes at McNick last year for the first time, largely due to the Class of 2017. “It really stemmed from seniors last year wanting to be prepared for college” and the problems they could encounter there, Way said. Shotokan Karate of Anderson, also called Anderson Karate, is located at 8119 Clough Pike.
Women’s only classes were all that were available last year, so the men’s class is a new addition this year. “I’m really glad they’re having a class for guys because anyone can get attacked at any time,” Taylor said. “Both boys and girls should learn how to protect themselves when faced with danger,” Smith added.
The class will teach attitude so students can carry themselves confidently, as well as other preventative tips like being aware of your surroundings, in addition to simple, close-proximity defensive moves that anyone is capable of, Way said. “It’s not only moves,… but a lot of it is your attitude and confidence and being aware of your surroundings,” she said. She said that self-defense is important for students to be safe and empowered.
“They made it really fun and comfortable,” Taylor said. She plans to attend the class again this year.
“I would definitely take this class again and I would suggest everyone to take it at least one time in their lives,” Smith said. “It gives valuable tips to use to protect yourself.”
“It’s unfortunately necessary in this day and age because stuff happens and if you can’t defend yourself then you’re just a victim,” Taylor added. “Don’t be a victim; fight back!”