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SHSU gives self-defense world records the ol' college try

Contributing Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 00:02

Sam Houston State University Legal Department came short in their attempt at breaking a Guinness World Record with only 621 people that showed up at event yesterday.

The event was an attempt at breaking a record for the largest number of people attending a self-defense workshop. More than 2,012 participants were needed to break the record with the expectation preceding the event pushed 2,500.

Yet despite the small number, students and Huntsville residents received a free seminar in martial arts defense.

Associate professor Marcus Gillespie taught the crowd Hapkido defense moves for when someone is under personal attack. Gillespie said this was his first time doing an event in front of so many people and that he enjoyed himself.

“It was a lot of fun and different as well,” he said.

Michael Emrpic from the Guinness World Records oversaw the event and said he was surprised the attendance was as large, or small, as it was. He said he didn’t know that over 621 people would actually attend.

“Even though the record wasn’t broken, I liked the fact that everyone came out to take care of themselves and their personal safety,” he said.

Although there was a 1,591-person deficit, the event turned out a crowd of people that almost filled Bowers Stadium.

Huntsville High School, SHSU Nursing Program, ROTC, SHSU students and the community of Huntsville came to this event to learn how to self- defend themselves as well as to meet new people.

“Our purpose was to educate the students,” director of Student Legal Services Gene Roberts said.

Senior mass communication student Stevie Hall said that the event was still good despite the relatively low turnout.

“[If you] look at the football field, half of it is filled up with people who wanted to be here,” she said. “I say it was a huge success. You can only work so hard and put out so much promotion as you can, but once put out as much as you can you can only wait for people to show.”

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