On Nov. 12, around 40 students gathered in the Cap Center to learn the traditional Jewish martial art of Krav Maga from local instructor Pandit Mami, which was hosted by the Jewish Student Association (JSA).
Participants learned vital self-defense skills, such as correct punching technique, how to effectively combine punches with other offensive strikes, finding and exploiting pressure points, and how to reverse assaults such as headlocks and chokeholds.
Mami went around with a practice pad to have the participants demonstrate their technique against him. Participants would also practice escapes and reversals on a partner. This self-defense experience was a first for many, including JSA member Spencer Delk.
“JSA has not done this before. This is the first time we’ve actually had Krav Maga here at Capital. Austin Reid, the president of JSA, thought it’d be a great idea to get the idea of Krav Maga out there.”
Delk said he was extremely pleased with the turnout for the event. According to Delk, JSA events have not always been this successful, and the Krav Maga venue was a pleasant surprise.
“Our events for JSA have had lackluster attendance, to be completely honest, and [Reid] thought that… having some kind of karate format or self-defense would entice people to come out and see what it’s about … It was definitely a success.”
Delk said that Reid knew at least some people would come simply because of exhaustively advertising the Krav Maga event around campus and through social media.
“Austin was ecstatic with the turnout … He told me the day after that he just loved the turnout overall.”
In addition to over 40 people showing up for the event, many more signed up for the JSA. The success of this event not only taught a large group of students basic self-defense, but also set a positive tone for the future of JSA.
The next JSA event, A Taste of Israel, will be held on Nov. 30 in Schneider South. At this event, participants will taste many different culinary traditions of Middle-Eastern Judaism as well as hear firsthand accounts of Egyptian Jews regarding the establishment of Israel.