MILWAUKEE — For two years, Lily Beyer has been teaching self-defense to women at the Neutral Ground Academy in Milwaukee. Beyer has been equipping them with knowledge and preparing them for any situation.
"They want fast interactions to get whatever they were trying to get quickly. Which is either one of three things: valuables, someone's body, or someone's life," said Beyer.
She says the first thing to do is be vigilant. No matter if you're going out on a run, driving your car, or walking the dog. Put the phone down and turn off your headphones.
If someone does approach you, Beyers advises women to stay calm and create as much distance between you and your attacker. If they have a weapon and are demanding your belongings, she says give it to them and run.
"No valuable is greater than your own life," said Beyer. "If we don't have to fight that person that is our objective. We are trying to get home safely with as minimal injury as possible."
But if you find yourself under the grips of your attacker?
"Pull your attacker into a crunch position where you can control him. Now, you're starting to increase that space creating frames. Then, push him out where you can up-kick and axe kick from this scenario," Beyer explained through a demonstration.
Women who've taken self-defense classes over the years, like Tracy Stuckert, say it gives them a sense of empowerment.
"Just the realization that I am not powerless I think was huge for me," said Stuckert. "It's giving me the confidence to live my life in a safe way."
Below is a list of places in Milwaukee County offering self-defense and other training classes:
- Neutral Ground Academy - Multiple Locations
- Fluid Jiu Jitsu - Greenfield
- Cross-Kick Fitness and Self Defense - Wauwatosa