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September 3, 2009

Self-defense program highlighted in U.S. News

usnewsA self-defense program at Pitt is among the programs featured in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010 best colleges edition’s “Learning How to Fight Back” article. Developed by long-time Pitt police officer Curtis Smith, the Buy Yourself a Minute (BYAM) method teaches students techniques for getting out of dangerous situations and avoiding them altogether. Smith’s self-defense classes include simulated attacks, the magazine noted.

In the story, Smith is quoted as saying, “It’s different from a lot of other programs. We feel that the BYAM method is much more balanced and it deals with the overall spectrum of crimes — scams and so forth.”

The simulated attacks, including purse snatchings and hold-ups involving mock weapons, give students “a realistic point of view on what’s it’s going to take, how to survive out there,” Smith said in the article.

In addition to his duties as a campus police officer, Smith serves as an instructor in the Department of Health, Physical and Recreational Education, the kinder kinetics program and the national youth sports program. In 2005, Smith won a Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the Community.

The full story is available online at:

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 42 Issue 1

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