Feminist Juijitsu

There were no courses called “Feminist Juijitsu” when we were in college.  But if you’re a student at the College of Charleston you can enroll in just such a class.

IMG_1090We learned that incoming frosh who sign up for the course sometimes think it’s about “feminist juijitsu” in the figurative sense.  We enjoy imagining what this version of “feminist juijitsu” might be:
“I got my health insurance to cover the cost of my birth control pills after telling them my menstrual cramps were a health condition… feminist juijitsu!” or perhaps, “I went out on a date with three boys and never once paid for my own bourbon… feminist juijitsu!”

But, all joking aside, when students enroll in the Feminist Juijitsu course, they are learning feminist juijitsu in the literal sense.  Students actually learn how to wrap their legs around an opponent who has climbed atop them, and squeeze the opponent’s neck with theiIMG_1087r clenched thighs and locked lower legs.  They also study scholarship about gender and violence in our society, and research on the prevalence and prevention of interpersonal violence.

There are two courses taught as complementary components by Amy Langville, John Venable, and Kristi Brian.  (The three instructors are pictured here practicing the moves they teach their students.)  The first-year students take a First Year Experience course doing readings and assignments in a regular classroom along with a physical course practicing combat moves in the juijitsu tradition.

IMG_1094According to Urban Dictionary,  juijitsu means “the practice of gentleness”.  Somehow, we like the idea that the feminist practice of gentleness involves putting a sexual predator in a headlock.

 

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2 responses

  1. I was asked a couple of years ago to give a talk on Women’s self defence as part of a day on Feminist studies at a college where I teach Aïkido . It was billed as ‘Feminist Self Defence’.
    About 20 mins in, two women stood up to leave, apologising that they thought my talk would be about defending feminism!!

    1. We feel your pain, Sue!

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