Luke Stergiou / Senior Photographer

Alyssa Wisniewski

Equinox Staff

More and more women today are partaking in self-defense classes.

On Saturday April 6, female Keene State College students were taught how to kick, punch and defend themselves by Steve Demasco. In the Madison Street lounge, women lined up in two rows and were given an introduction by Demasco.

DeMasco is the founder and owner of Steve Demasco’s Shaolin Studios (SDCC) with several studios located across New England. He has two sons, Gianni who is currently a student at Keene State and Mike, an alumni of Keene.

DeMasco had his family aid him instruct the class.

“I love having them with me when I do things like this, it makes feel good to have them here,” said Demasco.

Along with self-defense moves, the students also learned important life lessons during the hour class. “My goal was to make them aware of what’s out there and what the dangers are,” said Demasco.

After learning kicks and punches, the students got to try these moves on punching bags. After a few attempts, DeMasco tells to the girls to think of the bags as their ex-boyfriends which seem to make the students hit the bag more powerfully. “When we walk into that room were all the same and everyone is treated the same, and in martial arts that’s the only time that happens,” said DeMasco. “Everyone is equal and that’s why I love what I do.”

The class ended with smiles, laughter, and a lot of support. Madison Olsen, a junior at Keene State attended the event and thinks it was really worth it to go to the class, “I got out a lot of it, I didn’t really know much about self-defense. Even being here for only an hour, I already feel like I’m more prepared to be out there” she said.

Olsen agreed that teaching self-defense is very important in today’s age, “Today’s world is kind of scary and we just need to be prepared.” She also said her favorite move to learn was the punch.

Junior Emily Foy also participated in the class and found it very useful and interesting.

“Everything he went over is definitely useful and very beneficial. I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Foy. “I think it is extremely beneficial for women to be able to defend themselves, I think everyone needs to learn the tool that they can to defend an unwanted encounter.”

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