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Learning self-defense is beneficial at any age, but if there’s any time in particular to learn, it’s during college. This is especially important for women between the ages of 18 to 24 as we are unfortunately more at risk of sexual violence on and off campus. There are many options to choose from to learn self-defense techniques, so we should all take advantage of these resources in order to help ensure the safest return to campus possible. 

There are certainly general strategies we should be using at all times. For example, it is always recommended to walk in groups when possible and to be aware of your surroundings by not using headphones or your phone too much. Furthermore, if you ever feel as though you are in a dangerous situation, you should contact the NC State University Police Department at 919-515-3000 or the Raleigh Police Department at 911. 

Aside from these common safety practices, it is crucial that we go one step further and learn some sort of self-defense. Doing so will not only allow us to be prepared for potentially dangerous situations on campus, but also build our confidence as a whole moving forward. Additionally, self-defense knowledge is useful for a multitude of situations such as traveling, relationships and everyday life in the public.

There is an abundance of self-defense learning resources on campus. The Department of Health and Exercise Studies offers a self-defense course (HESS 239) every semester. The class is designed to equip students with skills such as escape defense, punch defense and even defense against weapons. This is a strong option to choose because you can incorporate it right into your schedule during the semester. Plus, the course will also fulfill a 200-level health class requirement.

NC State also offers a fitness kickboxing class (HESF 112) that will get you into shape while simultaneously providing you with defense techniques. This class can also be easily integrated into your schedule while you're on campus for your other courses. 

Another option that doesn’t require as much of a time commitment is the self-defense program from the NC State Police, Rape Aggression Defense Systems (R.A.D.). They have classes for both men and women that focus on how to utilize avoidance methods as well as contact self-defense techniques for a well-rounded educational experience.

Due to COVID-19, there are unfortunately no scheduled R.A.D. classes available at this time. However, this is an exceptional method of learning self-defense to consider, so keep an eye out for when they return if you’re interested.

Lastly, Krav Maga Raleigh, located in downtown Raleigh, offers self-defense classes, including one specific to women. I highly recommend this option as I have personally taken a few classes from them. They create real-life scenarios to help you learn while also maintaining a comfortable atmosphere. 

All of these self-defense learning options are terrific and helpful, but as you choose your favorite, remember the life-long benefits of self-defense you will leave with. As a huge fan of fitness boxing and self-defense learning, I believe it is imperative for all students to experience the empowerment of learning self-defense and feeling confident in their ability to protect themselves.

I am a third year studying Communication with a concentration in Media and Spanish. I started writing for Technician this summer of 2020 as a correspondent.