• Lillie Burke

The best offense is a good defense

Last week I was trained by a SEAL.

In a self-defense course required for all female student-athletes, I learned various Krav Maga moves to help protect me in a compromising situation.

Going into the night, all I could think about was how unfair the whole situation was.

On the night of the college football national championship game, here I was, forced to attend a two-hour self-defense course. And worst of all, the male athletes didn’t have to do it.

After attending the course, though, I am so thankful I did.

As a college athlete, I am frequently going on runs by myself around Nashville and with our soccer facility located off-campus at E.S. Rose Park, I needed to learn how to protect myself.

However, as a college athlete, I also consider myself a tougher target because of my ability to run quickly and for a long time. So I wish Belmont would require this course for everyone at the university, both male and female.

We are all living in a big city down the road from a rough neighborhood. Everyone would benefit from a solid base of knowledge about how to both prevent an attack and how to handle a situation if it were to arise.

No one wants to hear the reality about how often attacks can occur, and I will admit my paranoia was heightened after attending the class, but being aware of your surroundings is never a negative.

The class made me realize I do need to be careful when walking across campus in the dark. I need to be more observant and not walk with my head down, looking at my phone.

Awareness and preparedness are crucial to preventing and handling an attack.

Before the talk, I didn’t know where to aim on a person’s body to cause the most harm and I would have never thought to try to slap a gun out of the person’s hand and run.

After, I excessively worried about an attack, but it also gave me the sense of readiness if something bad were to happen.

Although I had a great time kicking and slapping the crap out of a punching bag, practicing the motion gave me confidence about switching the bag out for a predator and still having success.

I think we can all agree none of us wants to ever find ourselves in a situation where using violence is necessary, but more and more stories about rape and domestic violence cases are popping up.

We all need to be prepared ladies AND gents because the best offense is a good defense.

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