Conant self-defense event to raise money for domestic violence prevention

Flyer advertising the event Heather Munao

Flyer advertising the event

Conant’s Service Club and National Karate are hosting a self-defense workshop on Oct. 26 at Conant to promote awareness and raise money for domestic violence prevention. The workshop will be held in the wrestling room from 3:40-5:15 p.m.

Service Club Advisor Heather Munao said Service Club partnered with National Karate because they “like to [engage students in] self-defense” and have “led seminars with the gym classes in the past.” She added, “They are doing this workshop for free because they believe in the cause of empowering young people.”

Munao explained that the event is being held now because “October is domestic violence awareness month.”

However, Munao also has a personal reason for participating in this event. Munao says she knew Laura Engelhardt, a Conant senior who was killed, along with her father and her grandmother, because of domestic violence in April 2009.

People who attend the self-defense class are asked to bring a donation of $10 on the day of the workshop. However, Munao added that “the $10 donation is only a suggestion” and “any donation will be accepted.” The money donated will go to Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS), a domestic violence support organization that provides comprehensive care to families and women in need.

Attendance is limited to the first 50 people who turn in waivers, available online or in the main office, to Munao or to fellow Service Club Advisor Asra Syed.

Teachers and staff are allowed to participate in the event as well. Attendees are encouraged to come in active wear, as they will be learning physical self-defense techniques.

There will be an introduction followed by an explanation of what self-defense is and what threats are. The workshop will also cover how threats can be minimized, how they can be prevented, and what someone can do to get away.

Munao said, “Self-defense is not just for when people jump out at you in an alley.” It can be useful in everyday situations as well.

The workshop intends to teach students how to do this through the acronym SAVED, which stands for self-defense tools, awareness, intuition, assertiveness/confidence, voice, and de-escalation.

Munao explained an example would be “de-escalating a bullying situation” by being “an active bystander.”

Physical techniques will be taught next, such as review targets, strikes on pads, and grab defenses. The workshop will end with closing comments and an opportunity to ask questions.

Service Club Member Priyana Kumar, ‘17, hopes this event will “empower others to feel safe” and train them to help both themselves and others in self-defense situations. Service Club aims to make this an annual event in the future.

Allison Pariso

Allison is a senior and the news editor for the Crier. This is her third year on the staff. She is also involved in Speech Team, National Honor Society, and Student Council. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and watch Netflix.

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