T.A.K.E. Defense

Kansas / May 8, 2012 / by The Team

As he stands in front of a group of about 50 women in Shawnee Mission, KS, Roger Kemp explains how vital it is that they each pays attention to the self-defense class they are about to receive. After his daughter Ali was murdered at her place of work, in broad daylight, Kemp and his wife decided they wanted to do something to ensure this would never happen again. 

Kemp explains that “it was simply a seed of an idea, my wife and I, two weeks after Ali was murdered, we wanted to start a take defense class or self-defense class for, we envisioned middle school through college ladies.” So they created The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation (T.A.K.E.). 

They approached Jill and Bob Leiker who were self-defense practitioners and teachers, and “it was through their knowledge that we were able to do it, about safety awareness and, if the unthinkable happens, what you can do to get out of the situation,” says Kemp. 

T.A.K.E. offers free classes to women of all ages. Their students range in age from 12 to 90. Their goal is to educate women about how to get out of life-threatening situations but most importantly, the emphasis is on prevention. 

“We wanted to start this class so that they could learn how to fight because you can fight and you can fight but if you don’t know how to fight in the proper way, you’re more than likely not going to get out of the situation,” Kemp explains.

He begins each class with a lecture of sorts, explaining the importance of being aware of the dangers in every day life. Jill Leiker then takes over to explain in more detail about warning signs and tips about how to avoid getting into dangerous situations. 

After everyone has been told about the importance of trusting their instincts and of always being aware of their surroundings, they are shown the basics of self-defense. What is different in this class to other self-defense classes is that each participant is paired up with another so that they are able to practice the moves themselves rather than simply being shown. 

After first advertising the program in 2005, they immediately had 376 people on a waiting list, eager to take the class. They saw the potential the program held and started holding larger and larger classes. 

Their classes range from small, local classes with about 50 women to classes held in a football stadium that has included more than 1,000. T.A.K.E. also has a University tour that takes their classes to colleges, ensuring they get their message of safety to as many young women a possible. 

There is no other class of its kind: free and with the sole purpose of teaching women how to defend themselves in situations that could easily turn lethal. 

Leiker explains that “people were just simply empowered by the program. It gave them a different perspective on life and how they should look at things and not to live in fear but to live educated.”

The stories Leiker tells as warnings are enough to put fear into any person. The message is not intended to frighten, however. Rather, they are vital in showing the importance of trusting instincts, changing predictable patterns and always being aware of surroundings. 

The effects truly are visible. While some women arrive unsure of what to expect, clearly shy and cautious, by the end, they are visibly empowered. They also have a better understanding of what small changes they can make in their lives to ensure greater safety for them and their families. 

"We want to start putting a stop to all the senseless violence that's going on in our society. And by banding together and protecting your loved ones, we can start making a difference in our society."

To learn more about T.A.K.E., visit their website: http://www.takedefense.org/, find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAKEFoundation, and follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TAKEFoundation