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The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School



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Fight Like a Girl: Save a life

By Danielle Church
Staff Writer  
   As freshman Grace McKay walked into the PHS gymnastics room with her friend Katherine Brooks, she would have never expected what she was about to see. Giant pads were getting punched and kicked in just about every spot you could imagine. However, these weren’t any usual punching bags because they were walking.
Many girls fourteen and older came together on Sunday, Jan. 8 for a three hour class on how to defend themselves from potential attackers called Fight Like a Girl. Many male teachers even had their wives and daughters come.

    They learned moves such as the hammer fist which is when someone makes their hand into a fist and punches an attacker in the face. In addition they learned the cat scratch, making a hand into a claw and scratching the face of an attacker.

    The instructors, trainers from Focus Martial Arts and Fitness in Lake in the Hills, Illinois,  get beaten up so much that they take Motrin for up to two days after their lesson plans.

        Another move the girls had the opportunity to learn was one where they lied across the floor and tried to defend themselves. McKay describes the situation as creepy because it was something most people would never be used too.
Karen Kruse, an English teacher, took the class last year admitting that you aren’t actually supposed to talk about the moves learned in the class. A student from the class that tells other people about the moves they learned can be put in harms way then they could get attacked, and the attacker would know what is coming.
One of the instructors practiced moves with her husband, but sometimes people change and her husband became abusive. She was never able to free herself from his grasp when he grabbed her because he knew every single plan she was going to execute. This is why it’s so crucial that these lessons remain a secret.
“If you realize it, women put themselves in a lot of scary situations,” Kruse said. “I have to stay really late here [Prospect] sometimes and you never know what to expect.”
Most of the situations the girls are put in are real life rape situations. An astonishing 1 in 4 women will be attacked in their lifetime which is the statistic that won over both Kruse and McKay in deciding whether to attend the class or not.
Aaron Marnstein organized this event, admitting that part of the reason he started the program in the Spring of 2011 is because of some of the statistics that are out there.

Marnstein provided me with a list of statistics that he believes are some of the worst. Some of the statistics include 48 percent of rape victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance, 30 percent by a stranger, 16 percent by an intimate, two percent by another relative, and in four percent of cases the relationship is unknown. In addition, 86 percent of rape victims reported the use of physical force as the only weapon used during the attack.

“The statistics are pretty startling when you start to look at them,” Marnstein said.

The main reason that Marnstein wanted to do the program however was because he wanted a way to expose self defense other than just in his martial arts class.

“As teachers we are supposed to teach,” Marnstein said. “These are skills students need but I hope they never have to use them.”

Marnstein said that this is not the only time this year that Fight Like A Girl will go on, he is also organizing another class for sometime in May of 2012.

Fight Like A Girl is a $40.00 fee but both Kruse and McKay think the experience is worth the money.

“It could be anyone at any time,” Kruse said. “Rape is about power, not always sex…you don’t want to end up in a situation like, ‘Damn, I wish I took that class,” Kruse said.

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