Why “self-protection” and “violence prevention” instead of “self-defense?”
You only use “self-defense” when someone is physically assaulting you. “Self-protection,” on the other hand, offers a wide spectrum of actions and skills used to prevent, avoid, and escape danger that don’t have to include fighting someone. But we also include 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)!
What ages are your classes for?
Our paid programs are made for ages 18 and up. But we do occasionally offer special programs where a mother and her mid- to late teen daughter(s) attend together. We don’t teach children because we believe children should learn to be confident and capable of protecting themselves from the confident and capable adult women in their lives. So we prefer to teach adult women not only the skills to be confident and safe, but also support them in how to teach their own children. We’ll teach you. You teach those children and be the example that guides their belief in themselves (and their safety)!
Why not learn from the adult MEN in their lives?
The vast majority of men who want to teach their children (or their wives) to be safe from traffickers, bullies, and predators fall into one of two categories. Both love their children/family and want them to be safe. However, each category has a major flaw.
Category 1 – the men who have some experience with fighting. They might be martial artists, soldiers, law enforcement professionals, or just brawlers. In my experience, these men try to teach children and women how to fight like one man fights another. Problem number 1– children and most women don’t have the strength, size, experience, or fighters’ mindset to do what those loving men are trying to teach them to do. Ladies, before you get angry with me, I’m not talking about women who have been trained in combat arts nor women who are into strength training, I’m talking about regular women who don’t do those things. Problem number 2– Male predators don’t attack children or women the way men attack and fight other men. There are ways for both children and non-combat trained women to stop and escape an attacker, but it isn’t the way men fight men. Many of the “skills” or “techniques” these men believe will help their loved ones stay safe can actually create an even worse situation when those loved ones are targeted by a predator.
Category 2 – The massive population of men all around the world who have never experienced any type of military or martial skills. The men who are not aggressive or competitive. The men who don’t like violence and maybe not even aggressive sports. Men who may have never experienced any type of violence or aggression. That doesn’t mean those men are weak or cowardly. It just means they have very few or no skills connected to escaping a predator, preventing violence or an abduction, or physically stopping a violent criminal they could teach their family members.
The men in both of those categories are at a disadvantage when trying to teach the women and children in their lives to be safe and to protect themselves.
Will you teach men so they CAN teach their children and loved ones?
Definitely. But because so many men feel “less than” if they have to own that they don’t know how to teach skills specifically for children and women, men don’t usually come looking for those kinds of courses. I hope that changes. Children today are in desperate need of both male and female role models who are confident, courageous, AND capable of teaching them practical skills and confidence builders that can keep them out of the hands of traffickers, molesters, and rapists.
Men, if you want to learn to truly protect those you love even when you can’t be with them, give me a call. I’m happy to do private group or 1:1 training focused on how YOU can stop your loved ones from becoming statistics of violence.
Are your classes, physically or psychologically intense?
Do we teach and shout like drill sergeants? 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.
What about LGBTQ2S or non-binary Communities?
Although it is common for us to say “women” or “men,” our goal is to stop violence. We are not concerned with your gender, your sexual preference, your ethnicity, your skin color, your religion, or anything else that is far too commonly used to separate us as humans and to create fear or hate. If you want to learn to be confident and safe, we want to show you how. Every human has the right to live free of violence and exploitation.
Where are your classes held?
For your convenience, we come to you. We want you, your employees, members, or clients to be in a familiar and comfortable place as they learn our confidence building and 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 programs (even the “fighting” portions) to women with back issues, joint problems, and more. We’ve taught women from teens to women well into their 70’s!
Can MY organization present your classes to our members, clients, or students?
I’m afraid not. Currently we are the only ones who teach the FemVincible™ program. That being said, we are creating prerecorded programs that could be facilitated by an employee or member of your team who has completed our FemVincible™ Facilitator course. And as mentioned before, we can teach your group over a livestream.
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 social distancing, 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 has the opportunity to 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. But much of what we teach is about what you can do BEFORE you need to protect yourself, and what you can do to keep yourself from ever being targeted by a predator, abuser, or trafficker in the first place. But even in our course where we are teaching physical responses to an attack, we suggest wearing what you normally wear day to day. If you happen to be in a business suit, an evening gown, party clothes, or a pizza costume when a predator tries to control or hurt you, they probably won’t give you time to run home and put on some sweats and your gym shoes. Anything you can do to avoid, escape, or disable an attacker you should be able to do regardless of what you’re wearing.
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?
In the FemVincible™ program, taking the classes in order will create the best outcome. That being said, we do allow taking classes to be taken out of order or even as a stand-alone class. We also provide talks and mini-workshops that don’t require you to have attended our main program.
Do I have to be physically fit to do the things you teach?
Predators don’t only target physically fit women, so we designed our program so that practically ANY woman can become safer and more confident in every part of her life. 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 or being stronger than an attacker. 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. That creates a confidence in yourself that can be used in every part of your life, not just for safety, but for personal success too!
Do you have any other courses or services available?
We do. Some are available now while others are in the works. To see what’s available now and what’s coming, go here: Programs and Services