Lincoln Academy’s new Self-Defense for Women Course, offered during first period in the fitness center.

For the first time this fall, young women at Lincoln Academy can learn self-defense and earn part of their Physical Education/Wellness credit at the same time. “We have wanted to offer this class for a long time,” said Wellness Department Chair Radek Janik, “but we had trouble finding an instructor that could work with our rotating schedule. We are thrilled that John Jenkins was able to join our staff this year and teach the class.”

The class offers basic skills in martial arts and self-defense, and also incorporates a fitness element. “You may not thank me today, but you will thank me later!” instructor John Jenkins told his students, as he had them hold a timed plank for longer than was quite comfortable.

The class is a one trimester course that partially fulfills a Physical Education requirement. It will be offered during first period during all three trimesters at LA. Janik and the LA Wellness Department are also looking into expanding martial arts offerings in the future, both as part of the curriculum and as a community enrichment activity after school and on weekends, to be offered for a fee.

For this year, the Lincoln Academy students are benefitting in more ways than one. “I like that this class is offered here,” said Sammy Aho ’18. “We are learning that things can happen, and we need to be prepared for that.”

Sarah Peavey ’18 is also taking the class, and she particularly noted Mr. Jenkins’ effective teaching methods. “I really like him as an instructor. He understands what is going on, and he knows how to teach these moves, even though we don’t have martial arts experience. He focuses on muscle memory and repetition, so these moves become instinct. You have to really know what to do in a situation so you won’t hesitate.”

“It is a great group of young women,” said Mr. Jenkins. “They are getting stronger every day.”

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