It was 8:00pm on a Saturday night, and I was already curled up in bed reading a book. My husband is in the army and was at an out-of-state, month-long training, and, while I enjoyed relaxing nights by myself, I also hated being alone in our house. Halfway through my novel, I heard a crunching outside my window, like someone stepping on leaves. I automatically froze up and panicked. What if someone was about to break in? Where would I go? How would I defend myself?

Thankfully, that night it was not a human intruder but simply a little bug climbing over some plastic bags. But it did make me realize that if there were ever to be an intruder, I had no clue what I would do. And a lack of knowledge often leads to fear.
LaBCaF gives women the right knowledge to overcome that fear.

I was privileged to be a part of LaBCaF’s first Self-Protection Course. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve never been very coordinated and don’t consider myself a “tough” person, so I was unsure what LabCaF could really do for me.
What it did was give me more than the physical ability to fight off intruders; it gave me the mental ability to overcome fear and feel empowered when I am in or could potentially be in a dangerous situation.

I could write pages and pages of what I learned at the LaBCaF course (but there’s really no point in that…just go to the class!), but I do want to share some of the ways I left the course feeling empowered. Here are just a few statements that impacted the way I think about myself and my security.

1. I don’t have to live life unaware.
We live such distracted lives—heads down, eyes focused on our screen, ears plugged up with music—and danger can sneak up on us. One of the biggest ways this course has affected my everyday life is that I am now more aware of my surroundings. I notice what cars are on my street, who is around me, what exits are in a building—not in a constantly worrying way, but in confident observation. Just by being more consistently aware of the people and things around me, I feel more empowered that I would be able to prevent myself from being attacked in the first place.

2. I always have the right tools.
I used to think that in order to effectively defend myself, I would need a black belt in karate and a high-end stun gun. This course doesn’t provide you with either of those, but it does prove that you don’t need extensive skills or expensive tools to protect yourself. You have all the right tools with your own body and surroundings. Cranford does an amazing job of helping you see the powerful ways you can use your body parts and everyday objects to protect yourself (oh, and sorry about that head butt to the nose).

3. I am worth the fight.
We’ve all seen those scary movies where the ditzy blonde is taken captive and, after a few moments of screaming and flailing, she gives up any hope of escape. If we’re not careful, we as women can let that same mentality affect our everyday lives. When we face opposition, many times we change course instead of taking it dead on. More than anything, the LaBCaF course changes the way you think about yourself and your ability to protect yourself in an attack. Cranford and Penny reiterate that you are worth the fight, and that you have the right to fight until you are safe.

For the first time ever, I truly believe that if someone were to break in my house while my husband was away and I was at home, I could escape and fight to protect myself. And that’s what the LaBCaF course is all about, teaching women to feel empowered in their everyday lives to fight, survive, and thrive. I hope you join me in learning to feel empowered through LaBCaF’s Self-Protection Course.


-Bethany Broderick

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