Self Defense
Students at the S.A.F.E. Workshop on September 10, 2013. (Photo by Carrie Victoria)

By Carrie Victoria

Mount Saint Mary College females gathered together on Tuesday night in the Hudson Hall auditorium to take a class on the art of self-defense.

The introduction self-defense class for women only is named S.A.F.E., which stands for Self-defense Awareness Familiarization Exchange. The instructors were Carl Truffi and Tom Garnett. Truffi, a retired police sergeant, works as the Mount’s Coordinator of Security and Safety, and Garnett, a retired detective for a special victims unit, serves as a Mount security officer. Together, they taught this free class, open to all females on campus. Rarely are these classes offered without a price tag attached to them.

Though it was free, only thirteen females showed up. Still, some took advantage of this opportunity. Junior Danielle Barbieri said, “I always wanted to take a self-defense class, so I figured I’d come to this since it’s free.” While a majority of the participants were Mount students, two others who attended were a mother and a daughter. The mother, an adjunct at the Mount, said that her daughter would be going to college next year and wanted her daughter to know basic self-defense.

The participants would not be disappointed. The first portion of the class focused on giving the women advice on how to stay aware and be prepared for an assault. Truffi emphasized the “buddy system.” He said, “Always make sure you have someone looking out for you. Your motto should be ‘no one gets left behind’.”

The class then changed its course into a hands-on, interactive lesson. After the instructors demonstrated several self-defense moves that women can use on male attackers, the participants got to practice these moves on life preservers, shouting “No! Stay back!” Though they may have blushed and giggled while practicing, they performed the moves and said that they found the lesson, overall, very helpful.

However, there will be no leaking here of what exactly a female can do to protect herself against a male attacker since Truffi said that these moves should not be shared with any significant others or other males.

As Truffi said, the S.A.F.E. class may not turn women into any Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee, but it helps them to prepare for the unexpected. And for those who did not attend S.A.F.E , consider going the next time its offered because “you are your best defense.”