The phrase “a winning mindset” normally refers to sports, business, life, or any number of other activities. The students at Belmont Abbey College are now learning the idea that a winning mindset is key in any self-defense situation.  Officer Andy Ban with the Belmont Abbey College Police Department, is conducting self-defense classes for students. While a large portion of the time is dedicated to physical skills needed in such events an even larger amount of time is spent with preparing your mind to react properly in any self-defense situations.

With 30 years of service with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and with a black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art, Officer Andy is teaching the students that you must have a winning mindset during these situations in order to have a desired outcome. Officer Andy observes that, “A winning mindset can make the difference between achieving our goals or not, between surviving the attack or dying.”

Much of the training is dealt with avoiding what Officer Andy calls the freeze stage. Avoiding the freeze stage allows an individual to dissect more information and allows for the individual to possibly avoid a physical confrontation all together. If avoiding the altercation is not possible then the same mindset is used in order to formulate a course of action that stops the physical altercation and removes the individual from the situation. This is where the fighting skills that were taught in class come into play but does nothing for the individual if the mind is not ready to react or implement any decisions. Which is the reason why Officer Andy focuses so much on preparing and training the mind to have a winning mindset at all times. A winning mindset is a key to success in life and in self-defense.

The project began with a workshop for women’s soccer in January. After instructional time the participants paired up and practiced techniques.  Officer Andy is planning to work with other athletics teams and to coordinate with residence life and student activities to make the workshops available to all students. He says that “A winning mindset and having the correct skills I want to make sure that every student can respond well in a crisis, they need tools to do that.”  Officer Andy hopes that the students will never need the skills, but wants all Belmont Abbey students to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios. Students who learn how best to respond can take those skill with them long after graduating.