Instructors of local kickboxing studio KBX PHX, demonstrate self defense techniques to Mesa Community College staff and students at the the Southern and Dobson campus on April 5, 2024. (Photo by Kat Carlson/The Mesa Legend)

Student government promotes self defense and safety

Mesa Community College taught students important self-defense strategies in a series of classes taught on campus by local martial artists in an effort to promote campus safety.

The ASMCC Student Government partnered with KBX PHX, a local kickboxing studio, to cover different ways that students, staff and faculty can protect themselves against attackers.

The event is a total of four one-hour sessions, with the last class being held next Wednesday, April 10 and each week covers a different topic including situational awareness, basic self-defense moves and releases and escapes.

The project was put together by ASMCC Executive Vice President, and member of the campus club Women Rising, Luisa Casillas. 

“Unfortunately this semester somebody on our ASMCC team was saying that she was being followed to her car. It not only happened to her but even her advisors from the organization she’s in were getting followed,” said Casillas. “I feel like other people can use this, and it can also kind of help build the confidence in people,” added Casillas.

The sessions are led by Jade Hwang, the founder of KBX PHX, and Joe Johnson. KBX PHX is a local kickboxing studio that offers kickboxing and self-defense classes. 

According to Casillas, MCC held one self-defense class last year, and felt it didn’t offer enough opportunity and flexibility for people to attend. When putting together this year’s session, she decided to break it up into four separate sessions to allow for more opportunity.

These classes are a part of a project that Casillas and her friend have been working on across all Maricopa Community Colleges promoting campus safety.

“We started the project this year and to conclude the whole project, and also be a part of it, was just to have these classes,” said Casillas. “We wanted to not just do one like we did last semester, but make it a series so we can actually do more.”

In addition to the self-defense classes, Casillas said that they are also sending out a safety survey asking students and staff where they feel most unsafe on campus, how MCC can improve upon campus safety, and information on the safety measures that MCC already has in place.

The last session will take place Wednesday, April 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the lawn outside the Clocktower. This final class will be an overview of everything that was taught in previous weeks, so students that were unable to attend can still learn the strategies.

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