December 2016 eNewsletter: Frosh Self-Defense Workshop

Empowering Frosh Through Self-Defense Workshop

By Rigoberta Hinkledire, Physical Education & Health Department

self-defense-with-sensei-tom-snowdenOur eighth annual Frosh PE Self-Defense Workshop was held on Friday, November 18 and Monday, November 21. The need for such a valuable experience began eight years ago when San Diego was experiencing a surge of abductions and assaults on young girls. In its commitment to educate our young women, the PE Department felt self-defense was a vital topic to address and decided to incorporate it into the curriculum with a one-day class that emphasized the basic concepts of safety, awareness and self-defense techniques.

The department reached out to Mr. Tom Snowden, Chief Instructor of Aibukan Dojo, in Chula Vista. Mr. Snowden brings over 30 years of professional experience in the field of Law Enforcement and Law Enforcement Instructor training. He is assisted by volunteer alumni and current OLP dads, who also share their expertise and experience.

The objective of this training is to recognize precursors to assault, develop situational awareness and provide the girls with tools to fight back and escape. Basic techniques include wrist/hand releases, vulnerable anatomical points (eyes, nose, throat and groin) and personal body weapons (“C” hand, hammer fist, eye gouge, forearm/elbow strike, knee strike and leg kick).

The ultimate goal is to empower our girls to have the knowledge and confidence to control and prevent any given situation or attacker. Our girls continue to benefit from this workshop, as one student commented: “I learned to be loud and make noise if you are in potential danger; this lets everyone know you are in trouble.”