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The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers degree programs that prepare students for high-demand professions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. With an emphasis on Grand Canyon University’s Christian worldview, our college believes in instilling social awareness, responsibility, ethical character and compassion. Our blog, BrainSTEM, focuses on topics related to science, engineering and technology, with engaging contributions from students, staff and faculty. On the blog, you can find helpful resources relating to STEM fields and learn more about current events occurring globally, locally and within GCU. We hope to provide our readers with information that helps them learn about the necessary knowledge, skills and mental disciplines to succeed in today’s job market.
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Am I Ready to Defend Myself? Part 1: Awareness

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Two men practicing selfdefense and martial arts outdoors.

By Mark Wireman, DC
Assistant Professor, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

I was recently asked to participate in a self-defense class with a few fellow faculty members. In all honesty, I agreed to attend just to be part of the group, and I did not really put much thought into the content we would learn in the class.

In retrospect, I should have been more prepared. To be clear, I am not referring to being prepared physically (I am an avid runner for the past two years), but more of being prepared mentally.

The Grand Canyon University Department of Public Safety offered the class, and it began with an overview of the purpose of the class with examples provided on when we might have to use self-defense. The head instructor, Officer Ryan Sand, did an excellent job of providing examples to the point where the severity, and importance, of this training started to take hold of my thoughts.

I have never been in a fight, nor have I taken any martial arts classes. I quickly focused on the content of the class as I felt quite unprepared and the thought of not being ready to protect myself and my students drove me to learn as much as I could over the brief two-hour class.

Over the two hours, I learned various defense stances and ways to protect myself from an attacker with and without a weapon. The training involved effective strikes while upright and while on the ground. In addition, we practiced ways to grab a pistol from an attacker. As you can guess, my heart rate was elevated during the training from physical activity as well as a sympathetic response brought upon from the simulated fight or flight experience.

Over the following days after the training, I had many conversations with other faculty, staff and students about my experience and I realized that not many had participated in a self-defense class. This was a little disconcerting as I would hope that more people would be able to assist in an emergency situation. I am glad that I went to the training as it opened my eyes to the need to be aware of potential dangerous situations which might arise at a university and/or in any public place.

In addition, I realized that I just learned a small portion of self-defensive tactics. I look forward to a similar training every year to become more prepared to help myself and others. The GCU Public Safety training team was helpful, understanding and supportive to a novice in this arena, and I look forward to their future trainings.

I would highly recommend if you have never participated in a self-defense training class that you do. Being prepared could make a huge difference in an emergency situation.

Grand Canyon University is committed to the safety of our entire campus community. Learn more about campus life by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

About Dr. Mark Wireman
Dr. Mark Wireman
Assistant Professor, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Mark Wireman, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), has transitioned his professional skills into teaching students at Grand Canyon University and is currently an assistant professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Before accepting this position, Dr. Wireman practiced chiropractic medicine for 10 years throughout Phoenix. He holds a DC from Palmer College of Chiropractic and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Graceland University. Mark lives in Scottsdale with his wife and children. In his free time, he likes to play volleyball, hike and spend time with his family.

Read more about Mark Wireman.