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Seniors Learn Self-Defense

Reena Alame, News and Perspectives Editor

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On Wednesday, March 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., FWCD seniors will participate in a self-defense program called Athena Strategies. Athena was founded in Dallas by Meg Hinkley, who is a survivor of sexual assault and experienced in the martial arts. Hinkley used her experiences and talents to create this program for high schools and other institutions.

“[She] earned [a] black belt in karate and worked for several years [with] martial arts and psychology experts to design unique and relevant seminars for businesses and schools,” Kathy Roemer, the Upper School Counselor, said.

Athena informs students about the increase of sexual assault cases on college campuses, the dangers of sexual assault, how to protect oneself if faced with a dangerous situation, and how to recognize and help a friend that may be a victim of sexual assault.

Athena will begin with Hinkley giving a presentation to the senior class about her personal experience and a historical overview of rape culture; and will teach the students about behaviors that put people at higher risk of being assaulted. She will also teach students about basic self-defense in order to prepare them to avoid dangerous circumstances or protect others from similar situations. After the presentation, the male seniors and advisors will go to the wrestling room and learn self-defense skills and how to avoid fights that may warrant the use of self-defense.  

“They teach non-combative forms of self-defense [such as] using your voice to frighten off an attacker […] They often give very specific scenarios that the students have the opportunity to act out to practice the skills of self-defense,” Roemer said.

Female seniors will stay in the commons and learn how to avoid fights by using their voice and posture as a protective measure. They will also be taught physical maneuvers to escape dangerous situations.  

“I’m looking forward to doing something active while still learning how to defend myself. I hope to learn how to use all my strength to my advantage and learn how to take people down,” Lizann Bonin ‘18 said.  

FWCD hopes Athena will provide lifelong skills that prove beneficial to the senior class as they go onto the next stage of their life.

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Seniors Learn Self-Defense