Self-Defense Assembly

Self-Defense Assembly

By Ally Kampel

self defense



Thursday, February 20, Debbie Gardner came to Seton to teach students and faculty how to take precautions, protect themselves, and understand how to act in a threatening situation.  Gardner showed Seton how to gain physical, mental, and verbal power over those who try to harm or attack.

Debbie Gardner and her husband Mike met in the Cincinnati Police Academy in 1973, and due to personal crisis situations, together they learned to question self-defense techniques, and find ways to improve them.  According to Gardner’s website,, she founded the Survive Institute February 4, 1981 after she made an appearance on a regional television show.  Gardener was convinced to share her message of control and self-defense with the world through working and sharing her lessons with schools and organizations. Gardener says, “Less is more, when less is right.”   She has also written many books, such as Simply the BST Crime Survival, SURVIVE! Don’t be a Victim, and Raising Kids Who Can Protect Themselves, all giving information about how to gain control and courage during life threatening situations and how to protect yourself.

Gardner started the assembly at Seton by saying that love is always the answer. She taught that fear does not help us prepare for crisis.  Courage is the best survival tool.  Gardner explained a method of self- defense as “BeST.” The “B” stands for breathe.  The first thing to do in a crisis is to catch your breath and belly breathe.  Also, to get blood circulating, pump your hands and continue to take deep breaths. The “S” stands for space.  If a stranger enters your space, and continues to do so when you verbally refuse, you have the right to fight back.  Lastly, the “T” stands for throat.  If someone is trying to harm you, go for their throat.  Gardner displayed many different life threatening situations that are very prevalent today.  The situation Gardner portrayed was a thief approaching, and how to respond to the body language that the person displays.  If someone keeps coming closer to you and tries to grab your purse, phone, or book bag, she said to let it go because these items are not worth your life.  The second situation shown was a person following you.  Gardner taught us to assert verbally to stay away and hopefully catch them off-guard and cause them to go away.  Gardner states, “If vulgarity saves your life or body, then vulgarity is a form of peace.”   Gardner taught us that we do not have to be kind, giving, or friendly to anyone who “creeps us out.”  The final situation Gardner portrayed was an attacker with a gun or knife.  If verbally telling the attacker to stop does not work, that is when courage should come into play.  If an attacker has a gun pointed at you, grab the barrel of the gun in a swift motion and hit the attacker in the throat.  If an attacker has a knife, grab the blade of the knife, and like with a gun, in one swift motion move the knife from the kill zone and go for the throat.  Debbie taught us many ways we can gain control of life threatening situations and how to display courage throughout the situations.

Debbie and Mike Gardner also presented these self-defense skills to parents at 7:00 p.m. sponsored by the Moms and Dads club.  For more information about Mike and Debbie Gardner and their self-defense techniques, go to

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