Women’s self defense class encourages women to be warriors

Kevin Taylor trains Jane Schoenbaechler during the Women’s Self-Defense class on Feb. 10. Schoenbaechler said she was glad to become more “situationally aware.”

Laurel Deppen

The emphasis of the women’s self defense class at Kentucky Grapplers yesterday, Feb. 10, was to become a warrior, not a fighter.

Kevin Taylor, who owns Kentucky Grapplers, defines a warrior as someone who protects the people around them by defending and protecting themselves.

Kentucky Grapplers is a school located in Bowling Green at 519 East 2nd Ave. that specializes in several forms of martial arts. Each month, Taylor teaches a women’s self defense course that focuses on more than just physical techniques.

The class was set up to emphasize both the mental and physical techniques to prepare participants for defense in an altercation. The first half of the class was a lecture portion.

“We discuss situational awareness: how to pay attention to your environment, make sure you can avoid conflict if possible,” Taylor said. “Part of that has to do with confidence.”

In his lecture, Taylor recognized that it might be hard for some people to cause physical harm to others, even when they are protecting themselves.

“We try to frame that in a way that they see if they have parents, siblings, children—that those people are affected by them being attacked,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the class is beginner-friendly.

“[These are] physical techniques that people can do without a lot of training,” he said.

Jane Schoenbaechler, a participant in the class, had never been to a self defense class before.

“I decided it was time to be capable of defending myself,” she said.

Participants in the class listened to Taylor’s lecture, which explained the mindset of self-defense and gave examples of situations to be aware of. After the lecture, Taylor walked participants through different moves to defend themselves.

Participants practiced on punching bags and were coached by Taylor and his friend Herb Travis.

The next women’s self-defense course will be held at 1 p.m. on March 1. 

Features reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]