Staying alert: self-defense class being offered to female upperclassmen

A student practices self-defense at Lake Zurich Family Martial Arts. Tracey Goodyear, owner of LZFMA, will be one of the instructors at the upcoming self-defense class.

Photo by Photo used with permission by Tracey Goodyear

A student practices self-defense at Lake Zurich Family Martial Arts. Tracey Goodyear, owner of LZFMA, will be one of the instructors at the upcoming self-defense class.

Adam Cupples, Sports Editor

A self-defense class is being offered to female upperclassmen who are interested in learning how to stay safe while away at college this coming Sunday at the high school.

Awareness is the main topic being discussed at the self-defense session, Tracey Goodyear, owner of Lake Zurich Family Martial Arts and an instructor of the self-defense class, says.

“[The class] is all about awareness and being safe on campus,” Goodyear said. “We also practice body awareness and body control. It’s mainly about being aware of your surroundings and how to stay safe if you’re walking by yourself, especially if you’re coming home from a party alone, since the structure of walking home is different than what you grew up with.”

Despite the fact that Lauren Salit, senior, is running the event for National Honor Society and not signing up as a student, she says she is hoping that she can apply what she learns on Sunday while at college next year and in the near future.

“I think the knowledge and techniques learned from the class will be very valuable on a college campus next year,” Salit said. “I hope to be able to have the knowledge of what I need to do if self-defense becomes necessary in college and/or in life.”

In order for the female upperclassmen to gain this valuable knowledge about campus safety, Goodyear says that she hopes parents encourage their girls to attend the class.

“This is the first time that I’m aware of the high school putting on such a program,” Goodyear said. “For the first time, I would love to have 300 students. However, I don’t know if we’ll get there, so I would be very satisfied if we got 50 girls to attend this first session. Sometimes it’s reaching the parents to show that there’s a need. A lot of times the young ladies aren’t thinking of the campus safety like the parents are.”

NHS recognizes the importance of the self-defense session, Salit says, so she was put in charge of spreading the word about the inaugural clinic being offered to other students.

“I learned about it from NHS,” Salit said. “Allie VanZant and I are chairing this event for the club. It’s a new event this year so we tried to spread the word as best we could by putting posters up and having Mr. Krause email all the upperclass ladies eligible for the event.”

While every girl may not be interested in attending the class this Sunday, Goodyear encourages them to take it with the sole hope of putting their parents at ease.

“Ideally, my hope is that the parents are aware of what’s being taught and the student that’s going off to college hears about the program being offered,” Goodyear said. “I always say, ‘If you don’t want to take the class for yourself, at least take it for the sake of your parents. Give them the peace of mind that they did everything they could to empower you to go off to college.’”

Since Salit did not attend a District 95 middle school, she never participated in a self-defense class, which she says is another reason to pay attention to what’s being taught.

“This is my first time having anything to do with self-defense,” Salit said. 

No matter how many kids show up this Sunday, Goodyear says she is glad that she is able to help instruct this valuable class and hopes that the session will be around for years to come.

“I think that it’s great that District 95 and the staff at LZHS are willing to help put on this program for these young ladies, and I’m hoping that this partnership between Lake Zurich Family Martial Arts and LZHS is something we can continue for years to come,” Goodyear said.