South workshops offer self-defense training

Self-confidence, self-control, and self-esteem. The words not only share a prefix, but they are built up by learning self-defense.


San Jacinto College South Campus Physical Education Professor, Recreational Sports Coordinator, and MMA Club Advisor Trenton Denton, co-instructs a personal self-defense workshop.


The workshops aim to get participants active while training them effectively to defend themselves.

Based on the Krav Maga self-defense system, the workshops feature techniques derived “from various styles including Karate, Taekwondo, Krav Maga, Ju Jitsu, and MMA,” Denton said.


The workshops are open to college faculty and staff who can register through the Spark system.


“Adjunct instructor Jimmy Tabares, and myself provide a multilayered self-defense workshop centered around effective martial arts techniques,” Denton said. “MMA club members assist us in the demonstration of these techniques.”


According to Denton, the workshops are divided into two levels, with Level One primarily focusing on basic movement drills. Training begins in the classroom, “then we move them into the gym,” Denton said.


Meanwhile, Tabares said the workshops teach participants “simple techniques that can be used as a basic response to develop muscle memory”


Level Two begins with “a complete review of Level One, then we add some techniques,” Denton said. “Level Two is when they start working with a live partner.”


To ensure safety and build confidence, Tabares said the workshops use pads “so students can try out their techniques and overcome any hesitations on what tools to use in defense situations.”


Benefits to learning self-defense include maintaining physical wellness, and according to Denton, “it can be empowering. It can increase your self-confidence, and your self-awareness.”

In addition, the workshops function as “a way of getting people motivated to workout,” Tabares said.


The workshops are only available to San Jac faculty and staff, but Denton recommends other ways for San Jac students to learn to protect themselves.


“The P.E. department offers martial arts classes in three different areas: MMA, Taekwondo, and Aikido,” Denton said. “In those classes students learn self-defense techniques.”


Participation in the P.E. classes offers students the opportunity to earn an hour of extra credit while gaining “the skills more quickly,” Denton said.


Also, the MMA club is an additional avenue students can consider which Denton said, “is a free resource to students to learn marital arts techniques and self-defense.”

The club meets Mondays from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the South campus gymnasium.


As coordinator of recreational sports for South campus, Denton said a small group of participants meets for a session of martial arts from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.


With twenty-two years of experience under his belt, Denton said he likes MMA because “It’s very effective. It’s the most complete style, the most well-rounded style of fighting.”


The upcoming Level One self-defense workshop is scheduled for Apr. 11 and Level Two is set for Apr. 25.