Fraternity trains in self-defense class


Cody Hut and Caleb Burt prepare to spar at Self Defense class. 

Noelina Rissman

Delta Sigma Phi fraternity members had a chance to learn about self-defense skills in State Gym on Feb. 22 as part of their membership development program.

“Our membership development program collaborates all different aspects of life,” said Cody Hut, junior in industrial technology and vice president of membership development for Delta Sigma Phi. “Our program follows a monthly focus. … By no means is it mandatory or anything like that. Everyone shows up voluntarily. But everyone sees that they can benefit.”

From taking cooking classes to learning how to ballroom dance, Hut explained that the purpose of the program is to be able to create skills that every member can use.

“I feel like self-defense, in my opinion, is one of those skills that most men don’t feel like they need to learn,” Hut said. “Of course we don’t want to promote striking first initially, but it’s very beneficial to have skills to be able to defend yourself. … Even if you have never put yourself in that situation or are trying to avoid it, things do happen, and we want to make sure that all of our members are safe.”

The class was taught by Dylan Shoemaker, junior in kinesiology and health and president of MMA at ISU — an unofficial mixed martial arts organization at ISU — has 14 years of experience with mixed martial arts and other martial arts, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu and karate. He wants the general public to change how it views fraternities.  

“A lot of people talk about fraternities not in a positive light,” Shoemaker said. “So, this is going to help not only keep the Ames community a little safer, but to increase the image and self-awareness of this fraternity so that [fraternities] can change their negative image.”

A few minutes in the beginning was allotted for fraternity members to discuss possible situations they’ve been in where they may have been able to use the skills Shoemaker was about to teach them to their advantage. He followed with discussing street smarts, how to throw a basic punch and block punches and how to avoid further injury.

Shoemaker also stressed the importance of when to act out on these skills.

“What I teach tonight can only be applied when the other person hits first,” Shoemaker said. “If you hit them first and you beat them up, you’ll get charged with assault. … Wait until it actually happens and then react.”

For members such as Caleb Burt, junior in aerospace engineering, having knowledge of basic self-defense that can be used in practical situations was one of the biggest takeaways hoping to be gained from this class.

“Every student should have a basic understanding of what to do in a situation, whether that be how to throw a proper punch or whether it should be knowing how to get out of a situation [or] how to avoid it,” Burt said. “And also, knowing the law and what the law says you legally can and cannot do [is important as well].”