Tomorrow, Glen Fitzmaurice, will teach his Fear Aggression Stress Training (FAST) Defense course at Bowdoin, free of charge.
Fitzmaurice is the co-founder of the Maine Isshinryu Karate Academy (MIKA) and holds the title of Renshi Glen Fitzmaurice in the martial arts world. Fitzmaurice is the owner of the karate academy's training center in Randolph, Maine.
The Office of Safety and Security is sponsoring the FAST Defense course, which is a trial replacement of the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program offered in previous years. The RAD program was generating meager student interest while its operation expenses remained high, so Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols made the decision to bring Fitzmaurice to campus instead.
Nichols said that Fitzmaurice's professional skills, reasonable charge and time-efficient program make FAST a better resource for the College.
FAST Defense is composed of both classroom and practical components, allowing students to learn the most basic and effective principles of self-defense in only four hours.
"It's about quick self-defense and escape," said Nichols, who stressed that the class is not being offered as a response to any danger present on campus, but rather, as an opportunity for students to learn valuable life skills.
"What we do in the course is, first and foremost, we teach people how and when to listen to your intuition," said Fitzmaurice.
For Fitzmaurice, the goal of the class is primarily to teach "how people can stop bad situations way, way before they happen."
His instructions first show how to verbally block a conflict and then progress to deal with physical self-defense. The class culminates with a controlled physical fight, in which participants wear protective suits.
By the end of the class, participants will know how "they can effectively defend themselves," said Fitzmaurice, adding that he hopes his students will then spread the word that "everyone should take the class."
Both Fitzmaurice and Nichols emphasized that self-defense is a topic that everyone should be somewhat familiar with, and that the class is not geared toward any specific demographic.
"Everyone should have some proficiency in self-defense...it's something people should know for their everyday lives," said Nichols.
Nichols has firsthand familiarity with the course: both he and his wife took it on Fitzmaurice's invitation.
The course is "a great confidence builder," Nichols said.
Fitzmaurice said that he aims for his pupils to "leave with understanding and empowerment," and reported that previous students, including Nichols, "raved about the experience."
FAST Defense is "an extremely popular course" at the karate academy, where Fitzmaurice teaches it once a year.
The date for the academy's FAST course this year has yet to be determined, but those who miss it this weekend can sign up at a later date for $150. Security is also in the process of compiling a list of self-defense resources in the Brunswick area, which will be posted on Security's Web site soon.
The FAST Defense course will be held from 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow in Farley Field House.