Friday, April 10, 2020
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20190927 SHSSelfDefenseDespite being known as a place for peace, screams from hundreds of female student athletes from Sharyland High School in the library practicing self-defense techniques pierced through that silence last week.

“When someone is being attacked and they scream for all their worth, there’s a high chance that they’ll attract someone’s attention and get help, scaring their attacker away,” Martial Arts Instructor Bob Davis told the students. “This is your main weapon girls, please remember that.”

Davis was leading an introduction to self-defense seminar for the SHS female athletes Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. At the seminar, Davis and his other instructors from his McAllen-based martial arts studio provided tips on self-defense which included gun and weapons safety, having a buddy system when going out to ensure you’re never alone and basic self-defense moves such as blocking any attacks and striking back at an attacker.

“Our purpose is to try to show you and teach you a few things to help you stay safe,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong and there are people out there who will do you wrong. So we do need to show you a few things. We can’t teach you enough self-defense today for you to be effective, but we will show you some tricks.”

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, women aged 18 to 24 are at an elevated risk of violence, with sexual assault being more prevalent in a college setting compared to other crimes.

“With the climate we’re in we want to give our students life skills and knowing how to defend themselves is an important life skill,” SHS Librarian Nicole Cruz said when asked why the library hosted the seminar. “I want to empower young ladies. Our culture will give them the idea they need to be meek and mild instead of active and aggressive. I think we raise girls differently than boys and it’s important to equip our young girls with these skills.”

Freshman Leeana Diaz was among the student athletes in attendance.

“Not all of us know how to defend ourselves, this will give us experience and maybe some confidence to not be scared,” Diaz said.

Karla Trevino, a senior, agreed with Diaz.

“Just basic things like knowing how to grab someone to fight them off feels helpful,” Trevino said. “With the environment we’re in with school shootings and more violence in schools we know that defending ourselves is important.”

Though he said he was proud of how enthusiastic the students were during his presentation, Davis expressed dejection at having to teach self-defense in the first place.

“In a perfect world you wouldn’t need this,” Davis told the students. “But the truth is, people get attacked every day from domestic violence, street violence, bullying, all of that creates the necessity for this situation.”