When it comes to protecting yourself, it’s better to have the power and not need it than to need it and not have it! Our Wash Mo Fair queens learned all about this and SO much more during last week’s queen adventure, a self-defense class led by black belt Laura Schaefer of ATA Martial Arts. :)
On Wednesday evening, the queens hit the ATA dojo eager and ready to learn some new self-defense skills! To kick off the session, the girls gathered around and listened intently as Laura introduced herself, covered some important ground rules, and laid out the key components of mastering successful self-defense.
“In the matter of defending yourself, it’s all about attitude,” Laura told the girls. “Knowing how to assert yourself is a major aspect in watching out for your own safety.” This bit of advice was then worked into the first drill of the evening, an attitude and voice drill where each girl was to shout at their partner, “DON’T touch me!” It was priceless to see the girls' looks and laughs when they were instructed to do so! However, it's safe to say that once the ice was broken and shouting filled the air, they were incredibly intimidating. :)
Alongside attitude, Laura also highlighted that using your comfort force is of significant importance as they prepared for the more “physical” drills. Which basically means that you should apply force based on the situation and whether the force against you is threatening in a deadly or non-deadly way. Knowing this, the girls performed a series of elbow jabs and knee strikes to put their abilities to the test. Using punching bags and shields rather than a partner of course!
As the hour-long session drew to a close after several drills, demonstrations, and scenarios... instructor Laura left the girls with a few final words of wisdom. In her words, "Simply being aware can save your life." This great piece of advice then sparked conversations about looking confident, using the buddy system, walking in well-lit areas, and which handy self-defense tools you should carry!
I had such a blast getting to watch the queens try something new, while also taking in a few tips and tricks myself! Several pictures and action shots taken by Jeanne Miller Wood highlight the girls’ performances and all the fun below. Visit her website jmillerwood.com to view the full self-defense gallery. You can also check out Laura Schaefer with ATA Martial Arts at atawashmo.com/ !
Until next time! – Where we get a little more professional …