My story with women’s self-defense

    How can it change a person?

    Before I had moved here to FHC, in 2010, at my old school I was severely bullied. Almost everyday, I would get pushed down the stairs, called horrible names, and was beaten up all the time. I didn’t know what to do to protect myself from the bullies so it continued for two years.

    For two years, I had cuts and bruises on my body. I had just told my mom it was from falling on the playground. I felt weak and worthless.

    After a long time of this happening, I became really depressed and didn’t even care for myself anymore. In a way, I became immune to the beatings and just thought of it as an everyday thing that isn’t going to change so might as well get use to it.

    After a while my mom obviously noticed that I wasn’t my happy self anymore and started to ask questions and she eventually put the pieces together, so I then told her almost everything. Every mean word said to me, every time I ran to the bathroom and cried my eyes out, wishing it all would end.

    My mom then decided for us to move to a new school district in 2012, and for me to have a fresh start. It was nice to get away from those people, but because of them, it was hard for me to trust the students in my new school and to feel completely safe.

    I eventually made a couple friends, and I felt okay for once. But at the same time I still didn’t feel safe and I wasn’t happy.

    October of 2014 comes around and me and my family had gone to a fair of some sort and I had noticed a tent that said “UFC Gym” on it. That had caught my eye and we went over to it. We had talked to the now general manager, Craig Chiles, he explained what this gym did. They have a section to lift weights, but they also have several classes such as boxing, kickboxing, daily ultimate training, ju-jitsu and a women’s self-defense seminar.

    All of those I wanted to do, but I was most interested in the women’s self-defense because at the point in my life, I didn’t want to feel weak anymore and I didn’t want to feel afraid of being beaten again and not know how to protect myself.

    So I had then got to go to the UFC Gym and took the women’s self-defense seminar and it is safe to say that I was overwhelmed by the strong people that went here and I envied those people.

    The women’s self defense seminar started first with the statistics of women who are attacked in America. One of six women have been a victim of some sort of abuse.

    “If you look at the statistics of women being attacked, it’s most likely someone you know,” said Chiles. “So having people know what to do in a situation since it can happen at any time, it is worth it to teach women this, so if they need to they can lock someone’s wrist or do a crotch shot.” Chiles said.

    One of my favorite things that I had learned, was how to put someone into a bear naked choke hold and how to get out of someone’s grip from behind, which is called a arms trapped defense. Since it was my first class ever, I didn’t get all the moves perfect or memorized to the tee.

    “When you take the class consistently, your body figures out how to move and have the right form on how to take someone down, if you always do it, you are going to see results,” Chiles said.

    Since then, I continued to do the women’s self defense seminar once a month and practiced the moves at home as well. After a few months I started to get the hang of it and started to have fun with it as well. The constantly doing it over and over and the repetition of doing it made my body remember what to do.

    One good thing to do as well, is when you are out in public, try to be aware of your surroundings. Notice what and who is around you and not have your face in your phone.

    “There are, [is] terrible people out there who are messed up and will try to hurt you, but they’re not gonna target someone who has their head held high and is confident,” Chiles said.

    After months of doing the self defense seminar and doing some of their other classes as well, I found myself more happy and I didn’t feel as if someone could hurt me easily because I now have the knowledge of how to protect myself from cruel people.

    Because of my happiness and my confidence growing, I became more open to others and if someone made fun of me or threatened me, I’m not afraid of that like I use to be and I will now defend myself and others around me.

    I am now a completely different person than what I was in 2010, for the better. And I have UFC Gym to thank for that. Yes there were other things that had helped me become stronger and confident, but a big part of that was the classes at UFC, mostly the women’s self defense seminar.