Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

Whoever he may be, Matthew Bricketto, along with the university, has been sending us emails to warn us of the possible dangers that we may face on a day-to -day basis. Even if you ignore these emails or already have them permanently blocked, they still get you thinking. Robberies, kidnapping, muggings, etc. occur on a regular basis.

You typically think: “What if it was me? What if it will be me?” Don’t think like that! Campus and the Borough of West Chester seem like friendly and safe places. and they are, but not 24/7. Take the correct preventative measures to make sure this never happens to you and if it does, make sure you have the right skills to make sure you can protect yourself.

Why not enroll in a self-defense class? Mr. Stuarts Martial Arts, Regional Haganah F.I. G. H. T. Center is an organization within walking distance of the university that offers a full-throttle self-defense class. Here, Mr. Stuart himself instructs each and every class with the assistance of his fully trained instructors.

All of the classes offered at Mr. Stuart’s teach you endurance, stance, and self-confidence in your ability to protect yourself. Give Mr. Stuart 18 weeks and you will have completed a cycle of his amazing step-by-step classes. Classes range from Haganah F.I.G.H.T. to Israeli Professional Tactical Training and everything in between. In Haganah F.I.G.H.T. class Mr. Stuart trains you how to handle real-life scenarios, this would be your self-defense class. Hand-to-hand combat is simply detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to handle yourself in worst case scenarios.

Different situations range from frontal and rear attacks, to attacks with weapons, to attacks y experienced assailants. Mr. Stuart gets you thinking about these scenarios in his gym, in a safe place, so when you are on your own these actions can be second nature and you will be able to act under pressure. This makes protecting yourself or others a reflex. The goal is to create ‘muscle memory.’

Many of you can remember the Karate Kid and how old Mr. Miyagi made little Daniel ‘wax on’ and ‘wax off’ for the entire summer, but at the end of the summer, Mr. Miyagi showed Daniel that he was really teaching him basic karate moves. Muscle memory is somewhat like this; the key to remember is repetition. Combat Fitness or Fit2Fight classes are another common class offered at Mr. Stuart’s studio.

Known for being the toughest workout in Chester County, its name explains it all. Providing high intensity fitness training with high intensity interval training and old school combat exercises, this class gets you in shape, fast. If you are not able to push your hardest and put forth your all, then this is not the class for you. Another high-endurance class would be Combat Wrestling.

“Our techniques are developed to break-down the attack, create damage, and get you up and out there FAST!,” states an online description of the course. In fewer words, this class is a bit more aggressive than your typical defense class. You will get down and dirty with step-by-step instructions on how to take yourself out of the ‘victim’ position. Keep in mind that just because you are tall, a boy, or played field hockey your whole life does not mean that you will not be victimized.

Anyone and everyone can be made a victim by someone who sees you as a benefit or opportunity for themselves. Take the right measures to keep yourself safe and knowledgeable, before it is too late. Take a self-defense class.

Nicole Bair is a fourth-year student majoring in Liberal Studies with a minor in Art History. She can be reached at 

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