Fighting to make a difference at SHS

Teacher creates new club for students to learn self-defense


Photo contributed by David Luers

Social Studies teacher David Luers throws a punch at his sparring partner in practice. Luers is starting a club geared toward young women at SHS in order to spread basic knowledge of self-defense.

Alyssa Clark, Reporter

Heart pumping. Mind racing. His body beginning to pump with adrenaline immediately after being presented with a threat. For David Luers, a seemingly-harmless student became his biggest threat, or so he thought.

“He wasn’t intending to hurt me, he was just wanted to see what I would do,” Luers said.

At his last school, one of Luers’ students hid behind his classroom door and attempted to choke him from behind, resulting in Luers’ instinct to hip-throw the attacker. Luers has also experienced more violent and more serious attacks in the military. After these incidents, Luers realized the dangers of attackers, whether it be in the army or walking alone on a deserted street. He then took the initiative to start a club at SHS over self-defense.

During these meetings, Luers will not teach students how to fight, but how to defend themselves if a situation ever occurs.

“The whole purpose of self-defense is to stop the attack and get away, not to stay there and keep fighting,” Luers said to Journal in an email. “…I want to teach them to protect themselves, not to be a kung-fu master.”

Luers has had to go through the lengthy process of getting it approved, now all he has to do is create a waiver and set it up. The club is open for anyone to join, but it is directed toward the female students in high school.

“I realized the dangers especially for women as they move on to college campuses,” Luers said. “And just life in general of just having a basis of self-defense knowledge is a very useful thing.”

Junior Zayne Hashman has already shown interest in this club and plans on attending the meetings. Hashman took Luers’ AP World History class last year and was very enthused to hear about it.

“I feel like self defense is something that everybody should learn,” Hashman said. “Especially in today’s society.”

Luers started boxing in the army two decades ago. He has been teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2006, and he trained Mixed Martial Arts fighters from 2010 through early 2015. He has competed in BJJ and MMA through the army; over a dozen tournaments before he stopped competing due to injuries and time constraints.

Luers says he will use most of the skills he learned and pass them down to high school students. He is careful on what he would teach, though. He knows that some students aren’t as mature as others and would use these skills for other purposes.