Girls physical education learns self-defense techniques

The girls studied Bushidokan techniques to learn how to defend themselves


By Crystal Sivilayvong

On Friday, April 13, self-defense instructor Steven Kinser uses freshman Belle Bonn to demonstrate a move in front of silver four's girls PE class.

Taylir Charest, JAG editor in chief

The first ever self-defense class taught in girls physical education occurred on Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13. Instructor Steven Kinser led the class using the Bushidokan system.  This is a system that combines Karate, Judo and Jiu-Jitsu and transforms it into a street-ready self defense, according to Blue Valley Bushidokan.

By Crystal Sivilayvong
Steven Kinser gives freshmen Nicole Crist and Madison Page pointers on hand placement.

Physical education teacher Christine Preston believes it is vital for girls to learn self-defense techniques.

“I think it’s pretty important for girls in general, especially teenage girls, to be able to protect themselves,” Preston said. “They need to know how to get out of a situation where they’re uncomfortable.”

After starting martial arts in 1971, Kinser has earned five black belts. He has two Judo black belts and two Jiu-Jitsu black belts under national organizations. He has one Judo Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the Bushidokan system. After helping his instructor, he became an instructor himself.

“[Teaching self-defense classes] was a natural outreach,” Kinser said. “I assisted my instructor in some demonstrations and eventually got to where I was doing my own stuff.”

Preston was introduced to the idea of having a self defense class by physical education teacher Junelle Woolery at De Soto High School.

“[Kinser] has been doing classes over at DHS and the PE teacher there sent me his name because he said he’d like to introduce self defense to more than one school,” Preston said.

By Crystal Sivilayvong
Freshman Vania Barnett practices getting out of a hold with her partner.

After the class, freshman Nicole Crist believes she learned new things about self defense.

“I learned that you do not have to fight your attacker and you just need to get away from him,” Crist said.

With the short period of time Kinser had to teach the class, he hopes the girls are aware of what to do in a situation if they would ever need to use any of the techniques he taught them.

“Hopefully they learn about being aware and learn a few techniques of how to get away. This is an abbreviated class, so there is not as much that I could give in a two and a half hour class where we go into more depth and practice stronger techniques,” Kinser said. “If they just pick up on the philosophy and awareness, it’s a big benefit.”

Crist gained knowledge Kinser wanted the girls to learn.

“I like that I have the knowledge and experience to get out of a situation now,” Crist said. “I think it will help me become more aware of my surroundings and help me know what to do.”

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