Senior girls learn to execute self-defense moves from Coppell Police Department

One+of+the+many+CHS+senior+girls+practices+the+elbow+strike%3B+a+move+that+would+be+efficient+when+an+offender+attacks+from+behind.+The+classes+take+place+from+6%3A30-8p.m.+on+Wednesday+night+in+both+gyms+at+Coppell+Middle+School+East.+Photo+by+Amanda+Hair.+
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Senior girls learn to execute self-defense moves from Coppell Police Department

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

Video by Sydney Pickett and Connor Farrell

By Amanda Hair
Photographer

Knowing how to execute a powerful and annihilating blow to the lower stomach of an attacker with a single knee is one of the most beneficial and useful techniques Coppell senior girls learn from the Coppell Police Department.

The helpful self-defense class on Wednesday nights at Coppell Middle School East teaches senior girls not only the importance of defending yourself, but also how to defend yourself and what to do when necessary.

“You never know if something is going to happen to you, so it’s always better to be prepared, than be in the moment trying to figure out what you’re going to do,” Coppell’s Crime Prevention Officer Peter Dirks said. “We try to teach escape techniques; ways to avoid becoming a victim, because we would rather then not use the stuff we teach them, than actually have to fight somebody off.”

The class was originally meant for Coppell women 18 years and older, starting in the 1990s and teaching escape and self-defense techniques. In 2004, the Coppell Police Department felt it would beneficial if a defense class was offered specifically for senior girls at Coppell High School. When New [email protected] High School was established in 2008, girls attending New Tech had the class available as well.

Seniors are about to venture out to college on their own, so knowing how to defend themselves is a necessity.

“Learning these new techniques, like the strikes and punches, are going to help me in college if I ever get stuck in a tricky situation that I’ll have to defend myself in,” CHS senior Annmarie Vincenzo said.

Especially when permanently leaving the safety of the Coppell bubble, it is essential that senior girls know how to keep themselves protected.

“When I go off to college, and I’m with friends and out late, it’s not so safe after a certain time. I’ll feel more confident, because if someone were to come up to me, I would know what to do in the situation,” senior Grayson Yingling said.

Along with the variety of punches, kicks and strikes taught to the girls everytime, one of the most effective techniques the girls we’re taught and continue to put into practice is yelling the world “fire.”

“Instead of yelling help, you would say fire, because people are more willing to come towards a fire and help out, than help, because sometimes people might think you’re just messing around and not being serious,” Yingling said.

The police officers have an opposing opinion, thinking the knee strike is the most effective.

“It is such a devastating blow, being one of the best of the actual strikes,” Dirks said. “But my favorite thing is just to be aware of your surroundings, so you don’t become a victim in the first place.”

In the first gym at Coppell Middle School East, a pair of CHS seniors practice an onward attack lead by the Coppell Police Department from 6:30-8p.m. Photo by Amanda Hair.

In the first gym at Coppell Middle School East, a pair of CHS seniors practice an onward attack lead by the Coppell Police Department from 6:30-8p.m. Photo by Amanda Hair.

 

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

One of the many CHS senior girls practices the elbow strike; a move that would be efficient when an offender attacks from behind. The classes take place from 6:30-8p.m. on Wednesday night in both gyms at Coppell Middle School East. Photo by Amanda Hair.

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