Girl Up teaches self defense class to Lake Park Students


Participants, Charmi Patel (Sophmore) and Josh Falco (Junior) beging taught how to stop a person with one finger, by class instructor Arnaldo Rosas.

Jazmyne Barhnill, Staff Writer

With a group of about 40, including the softball team, National Karate instructor Arnaldo Rosas  demonstrated how to defend yourself in compromising situations.

The original goal of this class, organized by Girl Up Vice President Alia Bicbic, junior, was to teach and empower Lake Park students and help them feel safer when traveling alone.

Girl Up President Michaela Brant, senior, said the inspiration for this lesson arose from the alumna who won the Spirit of Excellence award this year, Angela Rose.

One of Brant’s reasons for promoting the self-defense class was the fact that many seniors will be in unfamiliar territory next year when they go to college, and she wanted to help them receive very basic training to protect themselves.

During the class, Rosas demonstrated five different conflict scenarios and how to respond in each one. He taught how to stop someone, even someone much bigger than yourself, using just one finger: when someone walks toward you aggressively, step out of their way and put your index finger right under their
nose, like a mustache, and push backwards.

Rosas said reading the situation and knowing how to react are crucial in defending yourself. He asked a student volunteer, Josh Falco, to walk toward him and Rosas put his hand on Falco’s head to show that “standing face to face with him, he can use his whole body…he’s bending my arm and pushing me back.”

He then asked for another student volunteer, Charmi Patel, to demonstrate the finger-under-the-nose tactic. Patel was able to stop Falco even though he is bigger than her by reducing his power because “the head and neck are very sensitive areas” and you should “use that to your advantage” in a compromising situation.

Another tactic Rosas made sure to mention was to not show you’re in a fighting stance. By putting your hands up in an “I don’t want any trouble” way, you signal to people around that you’re not the aggressor, you may need help, and your hands are close enough to the other person’s face to easily defend yourself if they try to harm you.

If you show whoever is harassing you that you’re willing to fight, they are more likely to physically harm you. To address this, Rosas says to pretend you are not going to resist until they look away to catch them off guard and give yourself the best chance at getting away.

The class was full of demonstrations similar to these and most who attended said they learned something they didn’t know and they may find useful in the future.

Self-defense is about being “relentless” and “aggressive,” Rosas said. Even if you don’t know how to punch, “give them five in

Participants, Charmi Patel (Sophmore) and Josh Falco (Junior) beging taught how to stop a person with one finger, by class instructor
Arnaldo Rosas.

the face.”