By Mary O’KEEFE
“One in five women is sexually assaulted in college,” states a report by the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault 2014.
In a federally funded 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study of 5,466 women, 28.5% reported having experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault either before or since entering college.
It was these types of statistics that spurred the upcoming “Find Your Strength” workshop that teaches personal safety strategies and self-defense geared toward high school teens, college-bound students and adults of all ages.
“People have been telling me I should do seminars, but I hadn’t sat down to consider it,” said Jodi Lee.
Lee and her husband Jung Yul are the owners of The Martial Way, a local martial arts studio that teaches the art of hapkido and taekwondo. The couple has a son heading for college and a daughter entering high school.
Lee took a seminar and discovered how important teaching a workshop like this could be. She knows that by building self-confidence people can be more aware of their surroundings and this awareness might keep people out of dangerous situations.
“It helps you learn [how not] to put yourself in situations that could compromise [your safety],” she said.
She wanted to extend the seminar to teens and young adults, some who may already feel confident about their abilities to defend themselves and some who are more timorous. Many times during classes Lee has found that teenagers are afraid or a bit too timid to yell.
“[Young] kids don’t seem to have that trouble,” Lee said. “But teenagers always struggle with who they are. They need to be more confident with themselves.”
She added that it is not as easy for teens to feel right striking someone even if that person is attacking them.
“We grow up being told, ‘Don’t hit,’” Lee said.
The seminar will help attendees be more confident in striking back if attacked and to learn ways to defend themselves against an attacker.
“This seminar won’t be just physical strategies,” Lee said. “There are a number of things you can do that can connect with that soulful piece to [help] you respect yourself.”
Lee combines the physicality of self-defense that will help if, or when, a person is attacked and will also cover the inner self-confidence that will help people, especially teens and young adults, to think before getting into dangerous situations.
Lee has created a workbook for the seminar that will help those who attend continue the lessons of the day.
The seminar admission is $50 per person and includes one follow-up session. Lee said 25% of the proceeds will be split between CV Alliance and Prom Plus, the Crescenta Valley High School after prom event to give kids an alternative to unsupervised after prom parties.
“We wanted to give back and wanted it to be local. Our business is in La Crescenta and we had heard about CV Alliance and Prom Plus,” she said.
Lee began martial arts training 17 years ago. She is a fourth dan black belt in taekwondo and third dan in hapkido. Her husband Grandmaster Jung Lee was born and raised in Korea. He began his training in martial arts at age 6. He is seventh dan in both taekwondo and hapkido.
The seminars will be offered on July 12 from 9 a.m. to noon and again on July 26 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Space is limited; it is advised to make reservations either by visiting www.TheMartialWayKicks.com/SocialSite/events or calling (818) 542-6676 or (818) 531-8886.