Students in Milton Daniel Hall participating in a self-defense course. (Kyla Vogel/Staff Writer)
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A TCU Police officer is teaching free self-defense classes in locations convenient for busy students.

Although there is a 16-hour self-defense course in place for students to take, TCU Police Sgt. Richard Martinez recognized students do not always have that time to spare.

“Everybody’s in a hurry, everybody’s got schoolwork, everybody’s got plans with their friends and stuff,” he said.

So as a certified defensive tactics instructor, Martinez proposed he teach one-hour self-defense classes at locations across campus, such as Milton Daniel Hall, Colby Hall and the University Recreation Center. He now conducts these short lessons four times a month.

“It helps the students, male or female, gain some confidence in how to handle themselves if they’re in a situation where they can get themselves out,” Martinez said.

With an assault last semester on campus, some students want to take these extra safety precautions to ease their minds. The student who experienced the attack said what saved her was yelling loudly. 

Martinez said the TCU campus is safe. However, incidents still occur and students should be prepared.

Olivia Parr, a junior strategic communication major, said she feels safer while out by herself or with friends after taking the course. “I’m so glad I know more about how to defend myself, even if I am never in that situation,” she said.

Martinez said his tactics are basic but are similar to what he teaches other police officers. 

Matthew Dena, senior political science and philosophy double major, has a background in karate and has since taken multiple classes with Martinez to keep his self-defense skills sharp.

“The ability to defend oneself and others is invaluable,” said Dena.

With high ratings from students, and even garnering some returning students, Martinez said he is excited about where the program is going.

“It’s enjoyable. It’s fun. It’s easy,” Martinez said.

Additional safety precautions for students to be aware of include the Frog Shield App, knowing the locations of the blue emergency towers and walking in groups when possible.

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