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Street Smart Self Defense at Montclair State

Written by on March 7, 2019

By: Louis Biondolillo 

MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY- A weekly self defense class, that is offered at Montclair State University, is currently being under used by faculty, students and alumni.

Montclair State University is the second largest institution in all of New Jersey with upwards of 20,000 students. Of those students, MSU has the ability to house more than 5,000 permanent students in their residence halls.

With so many people on campus, the probability of an assault on campus skyrockets. According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, “11.2% of students will experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation throughout their college careers.”

In addition to sexual assault, college students are also at a higher risk for shootings, thefts and other conflicts which threaten their wellbeing.

Montclair State recognizes these issues and has been actively implementing solutions. With the help of Deputy Chief Boyd Lyons and Street Smart Self Defense, the University offers free self defense classes to all students and faculty members on campus taught by Lyons and other volunteer instructors.

Bill Paris, an MSU alumni, is one of the volunteer instructors and says that the self defense classes offer students an important life skill to protect themselves from potential threats.

“It is really important to learn how to always find a way out of a situation,” Paris said. “Whether that means fighting back or simply escaping.”

These classes are taught weekly on Tuesday nights from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM in Multipurpose Room #2 in the Student Recreation Center, and service an average of 10 students a week.

No experience is necessary to attend the sessions and MSU students, faculty, and alumni are encouraged to come out. While Montclair State is not an exceptionally dangerous place, Paris says that, “danger can find you anywhere.”

The instructors come from a variety of backgrounds. Lyons is a certified Senior Defensive Tactics and Firearms Instructor with 41 years of martial arts experience and Paris has over 10 years in a Russian martial art named Systema.

In addition to Street Smart Self Defense, Montclair State University has a commitment to ensure safety for the entire campus community. They have a fully functioning on campus police department who are specialized in dealing with situations on college campuses as well as emergency call boxes which are located throughout the campus. These connect someone with University Police immediately.

Montclair State says that safety is their number one priority.