Jill Leiker is a self defense instructor for Ali Kemp's TAKE Defense Foundation. Jill and her husband, Bob, are black belts in Karate and devote much of their time to educating women about personal safety. Below are quick tips Jill often shares in the Take Defense classes.
Q: What is the number one thing you would tell women in an attack?
A: Don't be attacked in the first place. Get yourself educated about some things that you can do to prevent finding yourself in that situation. Think about where you go every day and what you can do to be more proactive to keep yourself safe.
Q: For a woman who's never been attacked or threatened, how can she mentally prepare herself for a possible attack?
A: People need to take some type of training, whether it's our training, another training, it doesn't matter. You got to practice like you want to perform, and that's so important for people to get training. Most people when they're attacked freeze because they've never thought through the process. They've never stopped and thought, 'What would I do if this happened to me?' So role play it.
Q: Would you agree that self defense, in the worst case scenario, is actually fighting?
A: I wouldn't call it fighting. The whole thing is not to stand toe-to-toe with some guy 6'2, 240, the idea is to hit fast, hard, be able to get away, and be able to go home at night. Every attack is different. People need to understand it's situational, but the preparation piece is so important. What would you do to be able to go home at night? Could you poke a guy in the eye? Could you kick him in the groin? For some people that's really ugly when they stop and think about it, but if someone threatens you to that point, you are defending your life. And the thought of poking somebody in the eye may seem yucky, but then again on the other hand, the alternative is worse.
Q: Women's intuition:
A: I personally think women have a lot of things men don't have, but definitely one thing we have is women's intuition. And that's your gut feeling. The hair goes up on the back of your neck, something makes you feel uncomfortable. When that little voice goes off in your head, you need to listen to it. It simply could save your life.
Q&A with Self Defense Instructor Jill Leiker
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.