An ersatz dojo?

An ersatz dojo?

Elizabeth Self went to a free self defense class, and was the only person there.

Ever wondered what you should do if you should be attacked?

Probably so, but not enough to go to a class. Anyway, Columbia Shotokan Karate Club is providing free Self Defense classes! Last night they were held in Carman basement lounge, so I dropped in.

As I was running rather late, I was expecting to jump into a crowded room full of first-years eager to throw their suitemates over their shoulders. What I actually found were a half dozen or so instructors staring at the doors, waiting for a single student to come in.

I was that student.

The only one.

Fortunately, the instructors were totally cool about it.

They let me participate in the opening rituals and stretching for their black belt practice, and then one instructor (a former Barnard student) and a new member of the Shotokan club taught me a few punches and kicks. Then the instructor talked about a few safety mentalities (and Bruce Lee movies) and we started practicing getting out of holds. About that time, an hour and a half into the two-hour session, another Carman resident walked in, so there was at least one other person to impress with my newly-aquired Catwoman-esque escape skills. At the end we were all a part of the line-up that marks the formal end of practice, and I skipped away, embarrassed at being the only student, but also a feeling a bit more awesome.

The tragedy is, of course, that so many people missed out on the badassery lessons and subjected me to the awkwardness of being the only kid there

The triumphant addendum to that is that there will be more self-defense lessons in John Jay tomorrow night at 7, so you should all go, become more badass, and perhaps spare some other poor kid from being the only one there like I was.

Lounge via Facilities