Senior girls pack a punch


On the morning of October 12, self-defense expert Jennifer Cassetta teaches senior girls how to defend themselves against a potential attacker. She demonstrated how to base out to increase one’s balance when defending themselves.

by Julia Piermatteo, Staff Writer

The senior girls unleashed their “inner she-beasts” in a self-defense workshop held on Oct. 12.

Jennifer Cassetta, a national fitness and self-defense expert, conducted the program. She emphasized the importance of learning self-defense because “One in five US women will be the victim of a sexual assault,” she said.

On college campuses, the numbers chances are even higher: one in four women will be a victim of sexual assault. After learning some self-defense tactics, senior Selma Sose felt “safer as a girl” and “more prepared for college.”

Cassetta described the ABCs of self-defense: A for awareness, B for boundaries, and C for communication. She said that if people stand tall and confident, they are less likely to be attacked because it tells the potential attacker that that person is alert and aware.

In a dangerous situation, use powerful tones and vocabulary to scare away the attacker. If that does not work, resort to physical defense.

Cassetta said that the most vulnerable targets on the body are the eyes, throat, groin, and knees. She showed the girls how to punch with a tight fist, attack the neck, and use their elbows, hands, knees, and feet to fight off an attacker. She also demonstrated what to do when in a chokehold from the front and behind.

Cassetta’s main goal in conducting these workshops is “to help people feel more empowered, to stick up for themselves, and to prevent danger in the first place.”

She hopes that what girls take away is that “it’s less about the physical stuff, and it’s more about building confidence for women and girls.”

Sose said that self-defense is important to learn because “everyone should learn it just to feel safer, like as a person in the world.”