Morton girls learn to defend

Chelsea Peck
Junior Jana Kotysan defends Sonny Couch’s advances Friday during the final day of training at Morton High School. The junior and senior girls’ gym classes were taught basic defense strategies in the event of an attack.

Self-defense training teaches high schoolers the value of their lives

Morton High School girls were taught how to defend themselves against an attacker last week during their physical education classes.

Instructor Sonny Couch of Cat Ching Do Defensive Arts taught the junior and senior girls an “empowering personal protection system” to promote self-defense in the event of an attack.

Couch has been involved in self-defense since he was 8 years old. Now 50, he teaches others, old and young.

“After all that blood and sweat, if I die and nothing gets passed on, what was the point?” Couch asked. “Girls are taught to be nurturing, and they need to be aggressive in these situations. If I can activate their gross motor skills, hopefully they will be able to make an effective escape if they are ever attacked.”

On the last day of the training, Couch had the girls form a semi-circle. He then went around and “attacked” each of them. The girls had to use the strategies they were taught to incapacitate him and make an escape.

“I think it’s really beneficial, especially for the seniors who are going off to college,” said senior Taylor Harrison. “He shows us a move and goes around in the circle. If we get it wrong, he stops and helps us.”

Harrison said in the event of an attack, she now feels she would be able to protect herself.

“It really helps your confidence,” Harrison said.

When asked if she would like more training, Harrison said, “They can only do so much in four days. I think I would. I want the confidence.”

While Couch went around the circle having the girls practice the different moves, he would stop to talk.

“If the first thing doesn’t work, try something different,” he said. “If someone attacks you, you’ve gotta be serious about it.”

At the end, Couch said it was important for the girls to be aware of their surroundings and to not get into routines.

“When someone is attacking you, they want something of value. That is either something you have or it is you,” Couch said. “Everybody has to decide what they’re worth.”