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Self-Defense Class Offered for Free

Saturday, January 25, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

self-defenseA casual conversation with Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta led to the addition of a self-defense class at Texas State Technical College for students, faculty and staff.

Student Government Association President Tara Mendez following a visit from Huerta last October, a group of students spent some time talking to Huerta about her experiences.

“She talked about her experience as an activist for women’s rights and the work she does for battered women,” Mendez said. “At that moment, we knew we wanted to provide something along the lines of self-defense to our students, faculty and staff.”

The self-defense classes are taught by local martial arts instructor Joseph Rodriguez on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. in the Sports and Wellness Center. Classes are open to all TSTC students, faculty and staff free of charge. The first class started last Tuesday and will run throughout the semester. Individuals do not need to preregister for the class.

Mendez, who’s attended the first two classes, encourages anyone that’s interested to take part in the class.

“It’s on campus so everyone has good access to the class,” Mendez said. “They learn the skills to defend themselves, gain a little confidence and keep fit at the same time.”

Rodriguez, who’s been involved in martial arts for 20 years, said that aside form it being free, there are plenty of reasons to come and join the class.

“It’s an opportunity to learn something different that will have long-term benefits,” he said.

Rodriguez teaches combat tactics based on joint manipulation and strikes to vital points of the body.

“Martial arts is a way of life that provides a unique means to both physical and mental exercise,” Rodriguez said. “It’s amazing to see someone who didn’t think they could do it and apply these techniques during practice.”

Rodriguez also teaches tae kwon do and kickboxing and would like to eventually add those classes at TSTC.

Mendez called the self-defense class a “pilot program” but expects it to continue to the 2014 Fall Semester as well.

“If the classes go well our adviser stated that they will keep the program going,” Mendez said.

For more information on this or other fitness classes at TSTC, go to http://www.tstc.edu/harlingenintramurals.

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