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Reading, writing, arithmetic and jiu jitsu

Orlando Peace, left, and Kellin Coffman teach Del Norte High freshman techniques to defend themselves if grabbed by the shirt. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Del Norte High School saw a brief addition to its rudiments last week with four days of special lessons from a local Mixed Martial Arts club. 

Warrior MMA of Crescent City brought a small band of members to lead instruction in self-defense for freshman boys and girls morning gym classes Monday through Thursday. The format consisted of several brief interactive demonstrations in key skills such as breaking out of an opponent’s grip, recovering from vulnerable positions and disabling an aggressor long enough to withdraw from a dangerous situation.

But each day’s tutorial also started and finished with an emphasis on behavior, thoughtfulness and character. Students were encouraged to avoid confrontation in the first place: martial arts, then, as an exercise in physical conditioning, protection, and self-exploration rather than pugnacious prowess. 

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