The importance of self-defense

Kerrek Matson, Staff Writer

“A guy tried to break into our house on a Monday, so when we came home we called the police. The next day in the shop outside, I went to find something to eat for lunch, and there was a guy standing out there. Long story short, I got stabbed with an x-acto knife. I think I broke his kneecap, and he ran off. We ended up moving and I got homeschooled,” senior Abigail Ruiz said.
Ruiz defended herself in an attack using the self-defense skills that her father had taught her. Ruiz’s father taught her self-defense because he thought it was important to know. It ended up saving her from further harm in the confrontation.
Self-defense often involves martial arts, but self-defense’s key purpose is physical safety. Many people practice self-defense so that they feel safe in their knowledge and skills in case of an attack.
“I think it’s more about defending yourself,” Ruiz said. “As long as you can defend yourself, then you can keep going no matter what they do. It’s not about attacking the other person, it’s about keeping yourself safe in the end.” Some think self-defense is solely for girls; others think that self-defense is knowing how to fight someone, but self-defense is knowing how to defend oneself in the event of an attack.
Only 73 percent of Liberty students feel prepared for an attack. According to junior Madison West, self-defense can give people confidence they didn’t know they had. This newfound confidence stems from knowing that one has the ability to defend themselves in the event of an attack.
“I think the confidence has done a lot more for me in me in my life than the ability to defend myself in a situation where I would need it,” West said. “Knowing self-defense has also given me more self-control.”
Ruiz believes it’s important to realize that self-defense is important for all genders, because women aren’t the only ones being attacked.
“The most important part of self-defense is when to use it, and the moves to do,” junior Mara Bowdle said. “In karate, there are some moves that you’re not supposed to use on anyone unless when you really, really need to use it. I think when to use it is definitely a big part of it.”