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Self-defense club in the works for next school year

Samantha margot, Staff Reporter
Originally published June 8, 2018

Annika BergstromKutrakun demonstrates a hand block against a punch. Blocks using forearms, fists and hands are the primary ways to defend against punches.

Annika Bergstrom

Kutrakun demonstrates a hand block against a punch. Blocks using forearms, fists and hands are the primary ways to defend against punches.

When thinking of self defense, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a Karate Kid-esque scenario: the underdog who rises up against his/her oppressors with the help of strict yet loving teacher.

The first thought isn’t the necessity to know self defense for everyday life. The first thought isn’t that self defense needs to be known by teenagers and children.

The unfortunate truth of our society is that by the time our lives have come to an end, more than half of us will have experienced some type of assault.

Kutrakun demonstrates a right elbow attack on sophomore George Blue. Instead of punching with a closed fist, using an elbow can provide more power and strength to an attack. (Annika Bergstrom)

In 2012, a survey in Washington found 45 percent of women and 22 percent of men have experienced sexual violence during their lifetime. On average, nearly every 20 minutes someone is abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million men and women per year.

Soodjai Kutrakun, Violence Prevention Specialist for the school, has proposed to the administration that the coming 2018-19 school year be opened with the formation of a self defense club. “I can show you how to use your body,” Kutrakun said. “How to kick, how to kick the right way and how to get away. How to defend yourself.”

The club will draw from the combined knowledge of wrestling, kickboxing and fitness training. It is to be showcased by Jared Daniels, head wrestling coach; Colin Matthiesen, head strength and conditioning coach; and Kutrakun, who has a background in Muay Thai—a form of kickboxing and the national sport of Thailand.

Kutrakun performs a left knee attack on Blue. Knee attacks are one of the most effective and most used movements in Muay Thai and are very powerful against opponents. (Annika Bergstrom)

Pending on administrative approval, the club will proceed to be open to students of all genders. They plan to meet at least three days a week.

“I’m not saying this doesn’t happen to guys,” Kutrakun said. “But it usually happens to young girls out there in the world. Even boyfriend, girlfriend, it always happens when you’re not ready for it.”
Learning how to defend one’s self isn’t solely about kicking and punching. Each movement has a purpose when it comes down to it. Those actions, when performed correctly, are a volatile force, though this all comes in lieu of learning the limits and workings of your body. Getting to know yourself isn’t the beat-down of another person, it’s training that makes you successful in a defensive setting.

“I’m not going to teach you to beat them,” Kutrakun said. “But something to defend yourself. Your body contains a lot of weapons if you know how to use it.”

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Self-defense club in the works for next school year