Northwestern College holds Self-Defense Training for Students & Employees at its Bridgeview Campus

Criminal Justice Program Coordinator Mark Mitchell demonstrates self-defense tactics using hands-on training for Northwestern College students and staff.

Criminal Justice Program Coordinator Mark Mitchell demonstrates self-defense tactics using hands-on training for Northwestern College students and staff.

Northwestern College’s Bridgeview Campus held a self-defense training for students and employees conducted by its Criminal Justice Program Coordinator Mark Mitchell, a retired Lieutenant of the Palos Hills Police Department. The event was extremely successful with over 100 people attending, including approximately 80 students and 25 employees. The training was designed to induce better awareness of surroundings and demonstrate defense techniques for situations most commonly encountered, especially on college campuses or while traveling to and from them.

Mitchell holds a First Degree Black Belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art that is a form of self-defense. Hapkido utilizes joint locks, grappling and throwing techniques similar to other martial arts, in addition to kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. Mitchell provided a one hour self-defense training that touched upon awareness, general tips to protect oneself by preventing opportunities for attack, some common sense advice, and actual hands-on demonstrations of self-defense techniques. The program was hosted by Northwestern College’s Student Services Department.

“We’re creatures of habit,” noted Mitchell. “Assailants know that if you’re on your cell phone, talking or texting, you’re not paying attention to what’s around you.” He went on to point out the importance of basic awareness of surroundings, awareness when walking, and when approaching your vehicle, especially at night. Further discussion involved decision-making to defend yourself verses fleeing, coupled with a series of “what if” scenarios whereby he walked the attendees through the formulation of response plans in various situations.

Finally, Mitchell demonstrated a series of basic self-defense tactics when presented with an assailant, including how to respond to attacks from the front as well as rear. With respect to armed assailants, he noted various knife and gun disarm time restraints for consideration. Throughout the entire presentation, Mitchell engaged the group and responded to questions raised throughout.

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