The Dean of Students Office is just one of many units at the University of Michigan invested in student safety and violence prevention. And just one of the prevention programs they offered students in 2014 was a three day self-defense class taught by IMPACT Chicago and co-sponsored by the U of M Alumnae Council.
IMPACT Self-Defense of Chicago is a non-profit organization, committed to ending violence and building a non-violent world in which all people can live safely and with dignity. By teaching self-defense, they provide tools to help prevent, minimize, and stop violence.
The instructor team includes a personal coach and “padded attacker,” offering a supportive environment and a chance to experience full-force physical techniques while adrenaline is high and fine motor skills are low (as is likely to be the case in a real-life emergency.) IMPACT of Chicago teaches:
… assessment, verbal boundary setting, and physical self-defense skills… [many participants] report that learning to knock someone out opens up possibilities and confidence in making peaceful choices for dealing with violence as well as simultaneously enhancing freedom and safety.
- The program is 23 hours total (Friday evening and all day Saturday and Sunday.) U of M participants must commit to attending all scheduled hours to be eligible for participation.
- Registration is $100. Scholarships are available and no U of M student will be turned away due to inability to pay. The Dean of Students Office, the UM Alumnae Council, and IMPACT of Chicago are collaborating to provide this unique program at significantly reduced cost to UM students.
- Class size is limited to a maximum of 15 students, so apply early to reserve your spot!
Gender Identity and Violence
Violence affects all individuals and often is experienced differently based on gender identity. As one example, perpetrators attacking men are more likely to stand and throw punches; perpetrators attacking women often move in close then try to knock them to the ground. Because of such differences, most IMPACT programs are taught in gender-specific environments. At Michigan, we offered a February, 2014 program for students who identify as women and trans women and a September, 2014 program for students of all gender identities. Applicants choose for themselves which program will best meet their needs.
Stay tuned for information about 2015 program dates!