Michaela Willis is a young and petite woman at Corban. She walks to classes during the day and travels back from her job alone. And every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. she attends the Women’s Self-Defense club on the upper floor of the gym.
“It’s exhilarating,” Willis said. “It’s nice to know I have the ability to take care of myself.”
The club began with Mara McKinney and Jannalyn Farley who both wanted to provide a way for Corban women to learn to protect themselves.
“Just because we’re at a Christian school doesn’t mean you won’t get attacked,” McKinney said. “I don’t want to see any of the girls at Corban become victims. I want to teach them the verbal and physic skills to protect themselves.”
Farley echoed this.
“I think every woman and man should know how to defend themselves adequately,” she said. “A lot of it is just having basic knowledge of certain strikes and escapes.”
Each meeting features a mix of Brazilian Jujitsu, tumbling, and basic self-defense moves like how to escape a choke hold.
“The club offers a fun way for us to get together and teach each other,” Farley said. “We are learning a lot about fighting, but we are also all Christian and seek to interact in a Christian way.”
McKinney said that though the group is small, she is encouraged by the progress they are making.
“It has been great,” she said. “The girls are super enthusiastic. All of them are doing a fantastic job.”
“Corban guys should be scared,” she adds, laughing.
For women who are still on the fence about attending, Willis adds this, “It’s better to come and be sore than to end up in a hospital or a body bag because you don’t know how to defend yourself.”