Why do you call your program “self-protection” instead of “self-defense?”
You only use “self-defense” when someone is physically assaulting you. “Self-protection,” on the other hand, is a wide spectrum of actions and skills used to prevent, avoid, and escape danger. But it also includes how to stop and defeat an attacker! We would much rather girls and women avoid an attacker rather than have to fight one (we think most women, parents, and husbands would agree). Fighting is NOT like what you see on TV. Even with years of training in martial arts, it can be extremely difficult to fight off an attacker or a kidnapper. Avoiding that situation is MUCH easier, more survivable, and less painful.
We’ve also found that many women have no desire to take any kind of “fighting” program and are excited that we have programs that teach prevention, avoidance, and escape (with the option to learn more if they choose)! That isn’t what you would get from a self-defense class.
What ages are your classes for?
Our programs are made for ages 18 and up. However, the material we teach is adaptable to almost all ages. Even children of the same age can vary drastically in their maturity level, which means only the parents can decide what is appropriate for their children. We fully intend for our graduates to be able to teach their own children what they have learned. All of our programs are built with that in mind. Plus, we believe it is better for a child to learn how to be safe and confident from their parent(s) and from seeing those parents live safely and confidently every day. That kind of learning will be much more impactful as those children grow up and head out on their own.
Are your classes, physically or psychologically intense?
If you’re asking if we teach like drill sergeants, then no! We know women who have taken other courses where the instructors were so intense or militaristic, they were actually afraid to ask questions or get engaged in the class. That means they learned almost nothing! We believe that, to learn the most, you should be calm and comfortable enough to ask any questions. We KNOW that most of our students have no experience with what we teach. That means we expect and welcome questions, even the ones that seem too silly to ask! In learning to protect yourself and your children, there are no stupid questions! Plus, since we love what we do, we try to make our courses not only useful and easy to learn, but enjoyable and fun!
Are any of your classes co-ed?
We usually teach women only courses to ensure the comfort of the attendees. If an organization requests a co-ed class, we will certainly work with them. However, we would then ask that same organization to also offer an additional class that is women only for their comfort.
Where are your classes held?
For corporate, organizational, and some other private courses courses, we come to you. We want your employees, members, and clients to be in a familiar and comfortable place as they learn our life saving programs. We can also provide our courses “virtually” to any location with internet access!
I carry a concealed firearm. Would your program be helpful to me?
Definitely! One of the challenges with people who carry firearms is that many of them think of their gun as their only option in an attack. That’s an all-or-nothing approach that could cause its own pot full of problems! The other challenge is that most people carrying a firearm don’t ALWAYS have it with them. So what happens when a bad guy is rude enough to be bad when you DON’T have a gun with you (like in the shower, or while bathing your 18 month old baby, or while in that place that prohibits having a firearm). We’re not trying to tell you not to carry and we’re not saying a firearm isn’t a great option in certain situations, but we ARE saying that your survivability (physically and legally) is much greater if you have other options that don’t necessitate having a gun with you 24/7!
Are these martial arts classes?
They are not! To use martial arts effectively against an attacker, you must train extensively AND be at a fitness level that allows you to do all the techniques of that particular style of martial art. We believe that every woman deserves to be safe, whether she is slender, muscular, or curvy. Our program works regardless of your dress size or physical challenges. We created our program to, first and foremost, teach you to avoid a situation where you would ever need to fight someone. But we will also teach you how to fight and disable an attacker if you must! And you will be able to do this on the SAME DAY YOU ATTEND THE COURSE! We have taught our Claws & Fangs course (the fighting class) to women with back issues, joint problems, and more. We’ve taught women from teens to women well into their 70’s! The other problem we see with
Can MY organization present your classes to our members, clients, or students?
I’m afraid not. Currently we are the only ones who can teach the programs. That being said, we are looking at creating a few prerecorded, self-paced programs that could be provided to individual clients. We can also provide our classes to your members as a virtual course with us teaching.
Finally, we hope to begin certifying instructors for our program in late 2021.
How big are the groups in your classes?
It varies drastically. We have taught to groups with over 70 attendees and we have also taught private classes to a single student. In this time of COVID-19, the maximum number of students allowed in the class would be determined by the space we use so that social distancing guidelines could be followed. But we can also provide the classes virtually! For private, organizational, corporate, or church classes, it depends on the needs of the organization and their facility’s capabilities. If your facility has the A/V set up and the seating capability, we can teach classes of over 100. If you have a large number of people who want to attend but a smaller space, we can schedule multiples of the same class so everyone can attend.
I am a violence survivor. Will I be triggered by the content in your classes?
Because we are also violence survivors (as well as many of our family members), we are very sensitive to this issue. We want everyone to feel comfortable and safe in our classes. We understand that survivors may have emotional responses to certain topics, and we are committed to being careful around those topics. NO ONE is required to do anything that will make them feel uncomfortable. That being said, the possibilities of what could trigger a violence survivor are endless, so there is no way we could predict what will bother someone. If someone is triggered, or even appears to be uncomfortable, we calmly take a break without putting anyone on the spot. We then support whoever is feeling challenged and reassure them that they are safe and will be cared for.
Do you offer classes in other languages?
Currently, we don’t. However, if you have a group of women who speak another language and can provide your own translator for the group, we would certainly work with you.
What should I wear to class?
When it comes to self-protection, you have to be ready at any moment, no matter what you’re wearing. A good portion of our classes are taught in a seminar style, with some activities that you can stand and participate in. Most of our students wear comfortable clothing. Since you will be sitting for a portion of our classes, it is recommended to bring a jacket or a blanket in case the room is cooler than you prefer.
Do I have to participate in the activities?
Since we don’t teach “techniques” that must be practiced over and over to get right, it is possible for you to gain the knowledge you need to protect yourself by observing others during the “hands-on” portions of the classes. We have created our courses with sensitivity to our students that have experienced past traumas. Although it is recommended that you participate during the hands-on activities, we understand that you may be dealing with anxiety from past abuse or assaults. You are given full permission to be active in the class or to observe only. Either way, you will learn a vast amount and be able to do it immediately.
Do I have to take the classes in order?
Currently we are redesigning and updating our classes. A few will be “stand alone” courses which will have no prerequisite courses. Our larger flagship program, which will be made up of several courses, will be taught in a specific order.
Do I have to be physically fit to do the things you teach?
No! Our courses are designed so that anyone can use them. If you’re not a fitness buff, if you’re pregnant, you have a broken arm or leg, or even if you’re on crutches or missing limbs, you can still learn and use what we teach effectively!
Which classes can I take if I am pregnant, have an injury, or a chronic physical challenge?
All of them, (yes, even the “fighting” class). These classes are not physically challenging because they’re not about learning to fight, they are about learning to prevent, avoid, and escape danger. What we teach can be done by practically anyone. You will see that everything we teach is adaptable to your needs. With the skills and resources you’ll gain, you’ll know that you always have what it takes to escape and survive dangerous situations and even predator attacks!