Self-Defense 101 teaches students basic defense skills


Nathan Kwapisz/NW

GEAR UP – Serkowski believes having basic knowledge of how to defend yourself is vital to your safety and teaches Self-Defense 101 in order to help students do just that.

Nathan Kwapisz

Kevin Serkowski, a firefighter and first responder, teaches Self-Defense 101 at the PEIF and describes the class as a foundation for self-defense. This is a purely educational class that teaches students basic self-defense maneuvers if somebody were to attack them.

“A lot of what the class consists of is kicking and punching. Basic self-defense moves people to protect yourself if somebody is attacking you and you are in harm’s way,” Serkowski said.

Serkowski has been a boxer and boxing coach for years and wants to share that knowledge with his community. The main focus of the class is learning how to properly strike and kick with the knowledge of the distance between you and your opponent.

“I taught boxing for years here. This is also something that I can kind of combine boxing experience with regular self-defense, because I feel like everybody should have that basic knowledge of how to protect themselves or the people they care about,” Serkowski said.

For him, the benefits of training self-defense are that it’s a great stress reliever and provides him with confidence that he could get out of a situation. He has a long history with boxing and has trained at multiple gyms which has helped him learn many new techniques he then teaches others.

“It makes me feel better because it makes me feel more confident to be able to go out, and if I am in harm’s way, to potentially protect myself or somebody I might care about,” Serkowski said.

He believes that everybody should train in something along the lines of self-defense as it provides a great stress reliever and gives you the unique confidence if you or loved ones are put into a serious situation.

“It’s kind of one of those good physical activities that gets stress out but also makes sure that you can protect yourself if somebody is looking to hurt you or anything like that – you might be able to protect somebody else in that same process,” he said.

Serkowski said that this class is different from other activities around campus and he believes that more involvement would make the class better for all participants and would bring diversity to the group.

“The more students we have, the better. We could do more drills; we can have more equipment and just have a larger campus involvement and they could spread that knowledge to their friends,” Serkowski said.

Serkowski believes that everyone should be aware of their surroundings and be able to protect themselves and others.

“Keep in mind that everybody’s got a cell phone, make sure it’s charged. Make sure you let people know where you’re going. If you’re going into an unfamiliar place, always carry things like pepper spray and flashlights and whistles,” he said.

To join the class, you can go to the Rec Sports page and register there or just show up to room 113 at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. The class is open to everyone and no prior skills are needed.