Thursday, Jan. 28, Alpha Delta Pi sorority plans to host a self-defense workshop here on campus. The workshop is being run by the T.A.K.E. Defense Training mission, a part of the T.A.K.E. Foundation, which stands for The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation.
This foundation was established in 2004 by the Kemp family of Johnson County, Kan., after their daughter, Ali, was murdered while working at her neighborhood pool. She was just recently finished with her first year of college, and her parents wanted to establish a foundation in her memory to ensure that what happened to their daughter would never happen to another young woman like her.
So far, over 20,000 girls and women have been trained in the basics of self-defense all over the country. The T.A.K.E. Defense mission has traveled and taken its message of the importance of learning self-defense to colleges across the United States, including Kansas University, Vanderbilt University, University of Wisconsin and Southern Methodist University – just to name a few.
T.A.K.E. Defense training has also been featured on the television program “America’s Most Wanted,” ABC’s “20/20,” “CBS’s Prime Time,” as well as countless other smaller news programs through the country.
Its mission is to “provide high-quality, appropriate, reality-based self-defense training to girls and women at low or no cost.” And indeed, the workshop here on campus is completely free, and open to all girls and women ages 12 and up, be they students of Southwestern, University of Texas, or if they just live in the surrounding areas. Women are highly encouraged to bring family members and friends, so long as they remember that there are no boys allowed.
The campus host for the workshop is Alpha Delta Pi, who has a connection to the foundation because Mrs. Kemp was an ADPi herself.
Julia Poritz, a senior ADPi and the organizer of the event said, “I think it is important for all women to know self-defense because of the story behind the founding of the T.A.K.E. Foundation. Any woman could be placed in a situation of danger, as Ali was, thus it is incredibly important for all women to learn the skills and techniques necessary to defend themselves against predators.”
Agreeing with Poritz is instructor Mark Benitez, who teaches Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts here on campus. He also has a studio in Round Rock and teaches a host of martial arts classes as well as self-defense for women. Benitez commented, “I think every female, regardless of age should learn at least the basics of self-defense, much like everyone is taught at a young age that brushing our teeth can help prevent cavities.”
He went on to say that a very important part of self-defense is awareness of your surroundings. “It’s the college-aged girls that go jogging alone at night who need to be smacked in the face and told that that’s just a horrible idea. Yet, every year I survey my new students to see who does it, and there is always someone who does….” stated Benitez.
“I’m attending the self defense workshop because I want to be able to protect myself if I have to,” said sophomore Briana Garcia.
Many people consider self defense to be a very important skill to learn, which is why ADPi is encouraging all women on campus to attend. The workshop is being held Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Robertson Center (what is this called?), and again, it is free to everyone.
According to Kemp, one of the creators of the foundation and the self defense mission, “Our goal is clear. If we can save one life out there, I don’t care what it costs; this whole program will be worth it.”