Women looking to learn self-defense have a great opportunity to take advantage of an event organized especially for them at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio in Peachtree City.
Holly Reese is the founder of Warrior Defenders and a certified tactical self-defense instructor. She will be teaching the class of women only, with no males in the room, how to enhance personal safety and be prepared for any potential threats. A domestic violence survivor herself, she understands the importance of empowering fellow survivors and rebuilding their confidence.
Reese began her own self-defense training in 2017, seven years after she left an abusive relationship. Armed only with a restraining order against her ex, she was told, “Learn how to defend yourself. This is just a piece of paper.” She spent those seven years as a prisoner in her own home due to post-traumatic stress disorder and Stockholm syndrome – but then she took back control of her life. Now she wants to help other women do the same.
“I invite every person from all skill levels to be there,” she said of the class, adding that no one is too old or out of shape to attend. “We all have the right to know how to defend ourselves effectively. The techniques that I teach will be extremely helpful for all ages and skill levels, and I really want everybody that can make it to be there.”
Reese has taught students of literally every age group – “from six to 96,” as she put it. She has been able to teach women who use wheelchairs or walkers to better protect themselves. The hour-long class will include drills that help students build their reflexes and learn how to end a fight in five seconds or less to get away from a dangerous situation. “They’ll learn how to block effectively from different angles, how to strike effectively and quickly without injuring themselves,” said Reese. “We will address situational awareness and effective striking abilities from each direction.” The drills are designed to make it easier to be used without thinking in necessary situations.
Stress management will also be addressed, because a typical attack is an ambush and that is not a time to be stressed, Reese pointed out.“A lot of women will automatically panic if they’re not trained to handle the stress,” she said. “That is one of the key things we will be addressing, as well as what happens if you already get knocked down on the ground, and what can you do to get away and get back up and protect yourself.”
Reese’s classes offer a safe environment for women to express their emotions and address concerns about personal safety and self-defense. By sharing her own empowering story, she sheds light on the realities of domestic violence and instills hope in survivors, helping them understand that they too can have a brighter, safer future. “There’s a distinct difference between the way women fight versus men fight. I meet a lot of men who know how to fight, but they can’t teach their wives or their daughters because they have to see it from the woman’s point of view and they just can’t,” she said. “I also teach a lot of people who’ve already been traumatized. They don’t want to be in a class with a man because they don’t want a man touching them during class. So, I provide a safe, trauma-free environment where they can learn at their own level without being intimidated by anybody.”
This class is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio, 1777 Georgian Park in Peachtree City. Women of all ages are welcome. There will be some adult content so participants under 18 will need a class waiver signed by an adult. Most of all, it will be a trauma-free environment so that all can learn at their own pace, comfort levels and skills. The class is $30 or free with purchase of a Pilates package. To register, phone ProHealth at 770-487-1931.