Jake Stone holds Self Defense Classes in the Blatnik Wrestling Room


Faith Hayes

Self Defense Class poster.

West Liberty University offers a free self-defense class for students. The class takes place every Monday from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m in the wrestling room of Blatnik Hall. This class is open to all students and geared toward beginners, so students should feel comfortable regardless of their skill or athletic ability.

WLU has offered self-defense classes in previous semesters. In April 2021, West Liberty University offered a free instructional class from Jake Stone as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming. However, these classes are not just geared towards defending yourself from becoming a victim of sexual assault. These classes teach students how to defend themselves in a variety of situations.

Self-defense instructor Jake Stone encourages all students to learn techniques they can use to protect themselves. The course will also teach students how to recognize when a situation is unsafe. Each class will focus on a few different techniques that anyone can use to defend themselves in an unsafe situation. Stone wants students to feel empowered and safe in their everyday lives.

The class lasts for eight weeks. Students do not have to attend all eight classes if they don’t want to, but if they do, they receive a certificate showing that they completed the course. Regardless of whether or not students will receive a certificate, they will still have the opportunity to learn skills and techniques to keep themselves safe.

“I think that it’s really important to learn self-defense, because you never know when you might need it. I think everyone should learn it just in case. Keeping yourself safe should be one of your priorities,” said Kelsey Stewart, a student at WLU.

“Taking a self-defense class really helped me improve my self-confidence. I feel safer and more secure even when I’m walking by myself. Luckily, I haven’t had to use anything I’ve learned yet, but I feel like learning self-defense has improved my mental health,” said Alexa Yocum, a psychology student at WLU.

Anyone who is interested in attending the remaining self-defense classes should dress comfortably and stop by the wrestling room on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. If you feel that you are in an unsafe environment, call 911 or campus police at 304.336.8021.