Baylor students practice self-defense while social distancing

By BrenShavia Jordan | Broadcast Reporter

Students still have a chance to learn self-defense on campus — with a twist. Baylor’s Lifetime Fitness Self-Defense course (LF1163) once taught students hands on martial arts techniques. but it is now taught using hardened rattan fighting sicks to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The purpose of Lifetime Fitness – Activity Labs according to the Health, Human Performance and Recreation Department is to provide heath education, physical fitness education and recreational education activities.

This beginner self-defense course has been taught by Lance and Melinda Yager for nearly four years. With over 25 years of marital arts experience, the Yager’s hope to help students build a self-defense foundation through fitness and protection as they go through life.

“One of my main goals with the martial arts program is that we spark an interest in the students,” Yager said. “When they are looking for something to get fit [and] stay engaged, [we hope] they look for a martial arts academy that they feel comfortable training.”

Moorpark, Calif. twin seniors Alyssa and Ashley Horton shared how they are benefiting from this course with the use of sticks.

“One of the major differences this semester, is that instead of doing a bunch of flips, we are building strength and learning the basics,” Alyssa Horton said. “[We] are doing techniques that are COVID safe but are still applicable to self-defense.”

“One thing I have learned here in this self-defense class that I really enjoy is how to properly hit somebody,” Ashley Horton said.

When the Yager’s are not teaching at Baylor, they are teaching at their Select Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Waco teaching others how to protect themselves.

Lance Yager said the sticks are a great way to create distance when recreating a real self-defense situation. These classes are offered three times this semester and the classes are taught on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.