Martial arts master teaches self-defense

Criminals in Ypsilanti should take note – some Eastern Michigan University students are ready to fight back if trouble comes lurking.

Grand Master Sam Williams, president of the U.S. Martial Arts Association, taught nearly 30 EMU students and faculty how to perform a variety of self-defense tactics from a training system called “Eclectikan.”

Williams and his assistants taught different counter moves and how to protect against attacks with weapons over a two-day course Wednesday, Jan. 29, and Thursday, Jan. 30, of last week.

“[It] is a need to know how to protect and defend in today’s society, and learning some basic moves could make a world of difference,” Williams said.

The need for swift, decisive action if attacked by an assailant was harped on repeatedly.

“The fight is only supposed to last five seconds,” Williams said.
“Any longer than that you’re going to work up a sweat and get tired.”

Chris Van Wasshenova, a grad student studying higher education/student affairs, attended the event with his wife and said they learned some useful tips.

“It’s fun and super practical stuff,” Van Wasshenova said. “They really have been pushing to not give up after you hit them back the first time. You have got to follow up to make sure they can’t keep coming after you.”

Police Officer Candace Dorsey, who has spent 20 years protecting EMU’s campus, participated in the event. She said the seminar seemed very beneficial and was surprised by the female participants.

“The ladies are really getting into this class and asking a lot of questions, and I think they are figuring out self-defense can be a lot of fun,” Dorsey said. “It teaches them that they have the power and strength to protect themselves, they just have to believe they have to ability to do it.”

EMU freshman Raquel Gonzalez, a business marketing major, echoed these statements and said the course was empowering and educational.

“I feel a lot more confident about protecting myself,” she said. “I would love to do more of these because I learned so much but really just started to scratch the surface.”

Gonzalez said she would recommend this course to others.

“It was free, and with the crime that has been happening recently, it just seemed to make sense,” Gonzalez said.

The periods of instruction were two hours long and took place at the Warner building. According to Dorsey, similar self-defense classes could take place around campus in the future.

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