Held on Wednesday, Oct. 28, Professor Leah Eller’s presentation Zombie Defense 101 discussed not only the ways to defend oneself against an undead aggressor, but how to use common sense and available resources to make the best of any unfavorable situation.
Part of a coordinated residence hall activity planned by Prince George’s Hall resident assistants Chelsea McGlynn and Donald Rees, Zombie Defense 101 was a combination of several zombie-related activities designed to train the participant in the mental and physical aspects of zombie warfare, including not only zombie defense training but a series of zombie-focused movies that revealed the safe and unsafe ways to handle a zombie attack or invasion.
During the zombie defense training, chemistry professor Leah Eller and assistant zombies Donald Rees, Todd Newman, and Gabriel Grace taught the Prince George’s residents and guests how a college student, without available weapons, could hold his ground against a zombie attack. “There is no way to instill fear into the heart of a zombie,” Eller explained. “Your only option is total warfare.”
After establishing that the brain is the center of the zombie’s existence, as a zombie is essentially a corpse with re-activated mental functions, Eller continued with what a college student could do to attack this vital threat at the source. Given that college students would not have access to advanced weaponry, the focus instead would be on “using what you can to get the skull to ooze.”
Personal attire is of utmost importance, and should focus on not only traveling with light weight, but also keeping the skin covered and wearing sturdy footwear.
In the event that a makeshift weapon is not available, and a zombie grabs for one’s body, the only option left is physical defense. Eller continued this portion of the training session by discussing how throws of the Japanese martial art Judo could successfully inconvenience a mindless zombie long enough for an escape.
“If your opponent is a zombie, you don’t want to draw them close to the body,” Eller said. “This is in the worst case scenario, if a zombie grabs you.”
After training the participants in the art of judo falling and throwing, with a focus on the osoto-gari and tai otoshi throws in Judo that would force a zombie on its back in a matter of seconds, Eller allowed the residence hall members to practice throwing the zombie assistants and even Dr. Eller herself, to ensure their mastery of the concepts behind zombie defense. Eller said, “Your readiness could save your life.”
Besides being a focus on zombie defense training, Zombie Defense 101 also discussed self-defense strategies against any attacker, including human aggressors one will more likely meet in everyday life.
“Your body is like a puppet on strings,” said Eller. “If you pull the right ones, you can get it to move the way you want it to.”
As the crowd broke for refreshments and the upcoming zombie movie series of the night, Eller concluded with a discussion of possible lecture topics for the future, including survival in a contained environment, the art of siege warfare, and even combat with more than one zombie at once. After all, “in the face of a zombie apocalypse, sentimentality will get you killed.”
While another zombie training session has not yet been planned, the success of Zombie Defense 101 only hints that, along the way, another one will rise to continue the discussion of zombie warfare.
“I thought it was an original idea,” said sophomore Carolyn Reiner. “I feel like I can successfully defend myself against the undead.”