Lindenwood Recreation Center offering self-defense courses


Photo by Mallary Vasquez

Lindenwood Alumni and Jiu Jitsu Instructor Vivian Barrett demonstrating a self-defense move while instructing. Barrett teaches a self-defense course in Lindenwood Rec Center each Tuesday of April.

Mallary Vasquez, Reporter

Free self-defense courses are being offered to Lindenwood students and faculty in the Rec Center in Evans Commons every Tuesday in April at 2 p.m. with a limit of 40 participants.

The classes are being led by former Lindenwood student and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion Vivian Barrett. Barrett also teaches multiple martial arts classes at Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu and Self Defense School in O’Fallon, Missouri.

“Me and my coach that I bring along with me are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners, certified in it, have been training for 10 plus years, and basically we’re just teaching well rounded self defense on how to get out of very specific and common altercations. Not just that you’ll find in a college atmosphere but also just around in daily living,” Barrett said.

Barrett said that the courses are coed and consist of self-defense tactics for both college and day to day life. This is her first time teaching a class at Lindenwood.

“I’ve taught multiple self-defense seminars at our gym and other places and there’s a very multitude of populations that I’ve taught. I’ve taught kids, I teach four to adulthood, I’ve also taught Mortgage and Loan Brokers, Realestate Agents who go into houses with strangers and stuff like that but I have not done one specifically with just Lindenwood,” Barrett said.

Andrew Gai, the Manager of Campus Recreation, said he created the opportunity while trying to transition back to what campus recreation was like before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re trying to redo our programming down here, we’re trying to get students back onto campus and back into doing things. After COVID, a lot of the programming was kind of slow and non-existant,” Gai said. 

“We’re trying to just offer some opportunities to get kids back on campus, get them back in campus recreation, get them back in the facility, let them know that we’re holding fitness classes, we’re gonna be doing more stuff.”

In terms of the fall, Gai said that campus recreation is hoping to continue to offer self-defense courses but are still working out how that may look.

“Depending on availability it might not be an every week thing but it might be once a month or every other week or something like that if we can find the time that works well for Vivian and if we can find a time that works well for us and the student body,” Gai said.

Gai said that the Campus Recreation Center is hoping to build momentum with the courses in the spring before continuing it in the fall. With the self-defense courses, other opportunities are also presented to Lindenwood students and faculty at the Recreation Center.

“We’re here, we’re open, we want students to come over and see us, we’re trying to get more things going, we’re trying to build up our intramurals a little bit, trying to get people involved trying to get people doing stuff so keep an eye out on emails keep an eye out on socials, look up the Campus Recreation Facebook and Instagram,” Gai said.

Anyone interested in the self-defense courses can sign up through the LindenRec app.