Parents who send their teenagers to college for the first time hope years of home training will pay off. Talking to them about cleanliness and punctuality is one thing; but even the savviest helicopter mom may not have taught her first year college student how to avoid potential dangers when leaving the comfort zone of home. Enter martial arts expert Mark James, a “Welcome Week in The Valley” guest speaker.

“When I took my daughter to college, it was scary because I couldn’t be there with her all the time,” he told the t-shirt clad crowd of freshmen women. “I taught her how to defend herself,” he said, then used visuals during a thirty-minute PowerPoint presentation that included crime statistics, dos and don’ts and demonstrations to warn women about scenarios to avoid. “Trust your instincts. Don’t get on an elevator alone if you feel uncomfortable with the other passenger. Keep valuables locked in the trunk. Never leave a drink unattended at a bar to go to the restroom. Don’t park in isolated spaces of parking garages. Keep mace in hand while walking at night, not at the bottom of a purse,” James said, rattling off a litany of “common sense” self-defense tactics.

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