Today, I’m sharing my experience and main takeaways from a self defense workshop at the Chamberlain Studios of Self Defense. My first experience with Chamberlain Studios was a public self defense seminar held at a school gymnasium last year. I was blown away. I had my reservations initially until I saw how powerful the workshop really was and how it resonated with everyone in attendance. It took place around the same time a string of tragedies occurred at White Rock Trail, Katy Trail, and Uptown. Being so close to home, I could see why so many women showed up to learn how to protect themselves. Truly an empowering event and I wanted to share that with my fellow Dallas Fitness Ambassadors, and of course, with you!
In a recent weekend, a small group of my blogger friends got together for a private self defense workshop complete with a tea ceremony, sushi and sake tasting, hosted just for us by Chamberlain Studios.
Owner Nick Chamberlain’s mission is to teach us the basics of self-defense and talk about the reality of these attacks and how to avoid them. His goal is to break it down to a few simple steps or movements so that we can remember it through repetition. His approach is sensible and effective. If a situation arises, you won’t have a chance to wonder if you’re a lefty or a righty when it comes to punching or kicking.
It takes a class like this to really acknowledge the dangers that can lie just around a dark corner. Chamberlain gave us all some serious real talk and got us all engaged with hands on practice. He addressed possible attacks from a heads on attack, what to do if someone has their hands around your neck, if they snuck up from behind, and what to do if you are being restrained on the floor. All the techniques we learned had the same basic format that we repeated until we had it imprinted into our memory.
Here are 3 of my biggest takeaways:
- Be aware of your surroundings. As a very kidnappable person, I have to be cognizant of what’s going on around me. Whether it’s a parking garage, a late night run at a gas station or even a casual run on my favorite Dallas trails, it can happen anywhere to anyone. Putting away the phone and keeping my eye and ears alert, is one way I can take care of myself. I don’t want to become a statistic because I was careless.
- Use common sense, duh. Using your common sense is a phrase many of us brush off. But truthfully, we do get comfortable in places we’ve unconsciously deemed as safe. It could be the parking garage at work or a grocery store you frequent. Also, don’t be too trusting of people you don’t know very well. The example Chamberlain used here is associated with online dating sites and apps. Be smarter with public meet ups with strangers.
- Fight for your life. If all the above fail and somehow you are in a terrible predicament, your chances of escaping are dwindling. Knowing a few basic moves and having a strong sense of survival may be the differentiator between escaping, surviving and perhaps something more tragic.
Heavy stuff I know. No one wants to think about possibly being in a situation where you are mugged or assaulted. It’s ugly, but Professor Chamberlain gives you the reality check that you need and then teaches you what you need to know. Taking a few self-defense classes and learning how to protect oneself is truly empowering. You get a sense of control, knowing you have some power to protect yourself is an amazing feeling. My blogger babes and I were able to practice a few basic moves on each other and with some of Chamberlain’s students.
His wealth of knowledge and light hearted humor made this a serious, yet fun experience we all enjoyed. It was definitely a workout and being a fitness enthusiast, it became very clear that fitness is equally important. Being fit addresses strength, endurance, and stamina needed to fight for your life.
Following the workshop, we got a chance to break boards. It’s a lot easier than it looks, and having done this before, it was cool to see the girls experience it themselves. The force required to break a board is the equivalent to breaking an assailants nose. How stinking cool is that? You can get a chance to do that yourself if you check out an upcoming self defense seminar. They host them quite often.
Outside of these self-defense workshops, Chamberlain studios offers adult and kid fitness classes and karate. With two dojos in Dallas, you can attend either the Lakewood or Bachmann studio. Keep up with them on Facebook for future self defense workshops that are open to the public.