Alton Family Martial Arts & Fitness instructors will lead self defense courses at Lewis and Clark in September in honor of National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Photo by Jan Dona, L&C Media Services

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College Campus Safety is offering students, faculty and staff on campus free self defense classes this September, in honor of National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

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Alton Family Martial Arts & Fitness will lead the courses, which will cover various defensive techniques and focus on building attendees’ confidence to have better reactions in the event of an attack.

“The key to survival in a violent situation is training and knowledge,” said L&C Director of Campus Safety Brad Raish. “The only way to know your body and mind’s capabilities and limitations is to put them to the test in a safe, supportive training environment.”

Participants will learn various defenses against chokes, knife attacks, wrist grabs, hair grabs, headlocks and bear hugs; how to get out of ground positions such as guard, mount and back; and how to properly throw strikes against an assailant, such as punches, push kicks, teep kicks, knees, palm heels and elbows.

This class is for beginners, so no previous experience is necessary. While the class will be interactive, anyone with physical limitations may observe instead of participate if they wish, or some of the techniques can be adjusted to an individual’s needs.

“We want to focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities,” said Cort Wahle, head instructor at Alton Family Martial Arts and Fitness. “Our goal is to build confidence, for them to have good basic reactions. We want to show them as much as we can in these self defense sessions.”

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Three sections are being offered:

  • 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27
  • 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29

Students, faculty and staff who wish to register may do so by contacting Campus Safety at (618) 468-2300 between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

About National Campus Safety Awareness Month

Each year during National Campus Safety Awareness Month in September, colleges and universities across the United States highlight their commitment to creating inclusive and respectful campus communities through safety campaigns and awareness events.

“It’s critical that institutions set expectations about what contributes to the positive development of their community and how all individuals play a role in this work,” said Laura Egan, director of training and technical assistance for the Clery Center, a national non-profit organization that works with college and university communities to create safer campuses.

Lewis and Clark Community College takes campus safety and the safety of all students, employees and community members very seriously.

L&C Campus Safety officers patrol the campus by motor vehicle and on foot 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and the department works closely with all members of the college community and with local law enforcement agencies to maintain a safe atmosphere on campus.

To learn more about L&C Campus Safety, please visit

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