Why do you call your program “self-protection” instead of “self-defense?”

You only use self-defense when someone is physically assaulting you.  “Self-protection,” on the other hand, is a group of actions and skills you use to PREVENT someone from ever attacking you in the first place.  It includes things like how to be more aware, how to avoid trouble, and how to escape too.  We would much rather the girls and women in our family avoid an attacker rather than have to fight one!  We think most parents and husbands would agree with us.  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 and more survivable.
That being said, a self-protection program should also have a self-defense component.  But it must be something that is effective even if the attacker is larger or stronger than you. That is exactly what we teach in module 4 of our program.

What ages are your classes for?
The first 3 modules of our Self-Protection program are appropriate for ages 14 and up.  However, ages 14 through 17 require parental permission.  We also find that those younger aged attendees actually do much better if an adult attend with them.  The last module, the Claws & Fangs module, is limited to ages 18 and above.  This is required because the skills you’ll learn in this course can cause permanent injury or even death when used against someone.

Are your classes, physically or psychologically intense?
If you’re asking if we teach like drill sergeants, then 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.

Where are your classes held?
For corporate or organizational courses, we come to you. We want your employees, members, and clients to be in a familiar and comfortable place as they learn our life saving programs.  For our public classes, we have teamed up with a few community focused companies who offer their facilities for our training, allowing us to offer local Alabama classes in Hoover, Homewood, Pelham, and Calera.  You can see those course times and dates on our events calendar.  But remember this, if no one signs up for a course by 7 days prior, we cancel the course.

I carry a concealed firearm.  Would your program help me in any way?
Definitely! One of the challenges with people who carry firearms is that many of them think of their gun as their only option in a criminal assault.  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 you can use 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 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 Claws & Fangs course (the fighting class) to women with back issues, joint problems, and more. We’ve taught women from teens to women well into their 70’s!

I saw that your program can be used for “fund raising.”  How does that work?
When an organization wants to offer our safety program as a fund raiser, we work with them to determine the expected number of participants they are trying to reach.  Then we help them select a group pricing plan that reduces the per person cost of each participant (in some instances, a drastic reduction!).  The organization then chooses what they will charge attendees for the course.  Everything above the reduced per person cost goes to the organization. For example, a group pricing plan for our Situational Awareness class could bring the per person price from $25 per person down to $8.  If your organization still charged $25 for the class, we would only receive the $8 per person while you would keep the remaining $17 for each attendee! Each case is different so please give us a call to see what we can do for your groups fund-raising efforts.

Do you have special pricing for churches or schools?
We do offer several levels of group pricing.  Call us to discuss your needs and we will work with you to find the best option for your organization.

How big are the groups in your classes?
It varies drastically.  In our public classes, if we only have one person signed up for the class, we still teach the class! Another variable is the location where we teach.  We have access to small venues where we wouldn’t accept over 10 students and others where we could comfortably serve up to 30.  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 can attend.

I am a violence survivor. Will I have challenges being in your class?
Because we have violence survivors in our own family, 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 be uncomfortable. If someone is triggered, we calmly take a break without putting anyone on the spot.

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.  A good portion of our classes are taught in a seminar style, with some activities that you can stand and participate in.  Most of our students wear comfortable clothing.  Since you will be sitting for a portion of our classes, it is recommended to bring a jacket or a blanket in case the room is cooler than you prefer.

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 as you see fit for yourself.

Do I have to take the classes in order?
It is highly recommended to take our classes in order.  The modules are designed to give you the knowledge you will use most frequently.  For example, in Module One: Situational Awareness, you will learn the important skills you will use daily to be a “bad” target for criminals and we’ll teach you what you actually need to pay attention to in order to help you stay out of trouble.  Where in Module Four: Claws and Fangs, you would only use these skills if a person has their hands on you (not a daily occurrence we hope). The courses are designed to FIRST teach you how to avoid and keep trouble away from you, and then LAST to fight if needed.  By learning the skills in the first three modules, you will drastically reduce the need to EVER have to fight.  Although you can choose which order you take them in, if you take them out of order, you may have difficulties with the program, since you’re missing the knowledge that we build upon from class to class.

Do I have to be physically fit to do the things you teach?
No! Our courses are designed so that anyone can use them.  If you’re not a fitness buff, you’re pregnant, you have a broken arm or leg, or even if you’re on crutches or missing a limb, you can still use what we teach!

Which classes can I take if I am pregnant, or just had surgery?
All of them, (yes, even Claws and Fangs).  These classes are not physically challenging, what you learn 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 you always have what it takes to survive!