Lane Public Safety officers Jake Ryker and Lisa Rupp offered self-defense training Oct. 17 in Building 13.
With only two participants, Sgt. Ryker said attendance was unusually low.
Ryker and Cpl. Rupp have been teaching self-defense classes at Lane each term for the past two years. Ryker said the classes generally range in size from five attendees, to 16 at the most.
Public Safety Officer Gina Walker played the role of the attacker while Ryker taught self-defense techniques such as striking an opponent properly, getting out of holds, using improvised weapons and the “wiggy diggy,” which entails a loose hand-snap into the attacker’s eyes. Ryker also encouraged confident body language and cell-phone use to discourage attackers looking for an easy target.
Lane student Paola Castillo Sanjur was one of the participants who practiced these self-defense methods.
During the training, Castillo Sanjur said three men approached her while she was in Panama last February, demanding she give them the across-the-shoulder bag she was wearing under her jacket.
One of the men held a gun to her and threatened to kill her if she didn’t hand over the bag.
“I couldn’t give them the bag,” Castillo Sanjur said, “because of my jacket.”
The attackers then knocked Castillo Sanjur to the ground, grabbed the bag and ran away.
“I thought it was very brave of her to share that,” Rupp said. “When participants share their stories, it’s always really touching.”
Due to the low attendance, Castillo Sanjur received one-on-one instruction for 90 minutes of the two-hour class.
“We still give them the full two hours,” Rupp said. “And (Ryker will) also teach extra things, especially if it’s one-on-one.”
Rupp said the necessity for a translator has never been present in the past, but one may be beneficial for future classes.
“For the sexual-assault class, we had a Spanish-speaking female that barely knew any English,” Rupp said.