For some women, taking a martial arts class can be intimidating, but at Warrior’s Edge Martial Arts in Naperville, there’s a special class that’s changing that.
Warrior Women is teaching self-defense fundamentals for women by women.
Co-Owner of Warrior’s Edge, Michelle Eichenberg, started the class three years ago. It’s designed for women to learn how to handle a bigger, stronger, faster attacker.
“We do many styles of punches, kicks, elbow strikes, how to use things effectively, how to use our body effectively and to knock our attacker back,” said Eichenberg. “And then we also look at different scenarios so it might be a grab from behind, a choke, chokes on the ground, somebody slapping you upside the head, someone grabbing your arm, being able to get out of grabs. So every week it sort of builds on itself.”
Once a week for eight weeks, women are building confidence, a better intuition for danger, and an understanding of the mindset of a predator.
“It’s so exhilarating, I feel so empowered and when I leave here I want to go do stuff, and teach people and show people and, I am way more aware of my surroundings,” said first time student, Laura Wilson.
“What I’ve learned the most is how effective your elbows are as weapons. I wasn’t really expecting that. And just learning an instinct and learning muscle memory, it really does click in once you do it a few times and it does make you feel really strong as it’s happening. You stop being afraid and you’re just prepared to protect yourself,” said Biz Hyzy, a second time student of the class.
In addition to using your body as a weapon, the class also teaches how to use everyday objects like pens as a weapon, and how to hit pressure points to take the attacker off balance.
And by the end of the eight weeks, the final test is to get a padded man to the ground.
“It’s wonderful to see that transformation,” added Eichenberg. “To see them just not going to be a victim. The first day they’re kind of scared when I talk about that but by week eight they’re hitting that person, they’re kicking him, they’re knee striking him and taking him to the ground.”
The next Warrior Women session will begin in September.
Warrior’s Edge also offers a shorter, co-ed self-defense class called SAFE. To learn more check out their website.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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