Tag Archives: self-defense

Girl Scouts learn self defense and have fun doing it

Submitted by Karli Anderson

Metro Denver


Troop 66712 spent an evening at Evolve Krav Maga to learn some basic self defense and situational awareness techniques as part of earning their “Independence” badge. The instructor made it fun, and many parents attended and commented that it was a fun way to help our girls prepare to go out into the world with confidence.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Girl Scouts learn self defense

Submitted by Ariella Wells

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Girls from Troop 70720 decided at their planning meeting this year that they wanted to learn the life skill of some self defense techniques. Last week, they learned many skills and techniques on how to handle or deal with various situations. Thanks to Krav Maga studio for teaching a great class!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Centennial Cadettes lead self-defense seminar

Submitted by Katie C., Eliza D., Megan L., Madison S., and Olivia R. of Troop 2732

Metro Denver


We are the Cadettes of Troop 2732 and for our Silver Award, we educated fellow Girl Scouts about self-awareness and defense. We taught a seminar at Tiger Rock Martial Arts of Lone Tree under the guidance of Fifth Degree Black Belt Clint Asay. Leading up to the event, we spent many hours planning, researching, and training. Our hard work paid off with an amazing event on December 9, 2017. We also have a YouTube channel called “We Are Fierce GS” where people can go to watch our videos for many years to come. Check us out at: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCrHyKphCBUSE32BCAbx2rxQ. Also, check out our VLOG on our YouTube Channel where we tell you more about what we learned while completing our project.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Victoria Delate, Centennial, “Self-defense gold”


What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I addressed the problem of sexual assault by developing a course that taught high school students how to be more aware of their surroundings and defend themselves if needed. Deciding to act, I created a four-week self-defense course for Cherry Creek High School. Teaming up with Big Sisters and Dr. Keogh, Cherry Creek’s activity director, I invited anyone, students and staff, to attend the course and learn. The first week was an introduction to the problem and prevalence of sexual assault. We discussed sexual assault statistics for American women and men, on college campuses in the U.S., and globally. Then, we talked about why self-defense and self-empowerment are needed for self-protection. And finally, we discussed some basic steps to keep oneself safe. The second week a professional Krav Maga instructor from Evolve Martial Arts came to teach about awareness of one’s surroundings and self. Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces. As part of the second session, we did hands-on exercises that involved students learning to practice being passive, aggressive, and assertive in a confrontational setting, and how best to portray oneself in a threatening situation. While the skills taught were basic, they were effective. The third week a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse) from Aurora Medical Center presented the steps people should take if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted. The SANE nurse talked about how one should not take a shower after the crime, but should come directly into the hospital to collect evidence through a physical examination. The SANE nurse explained that this type of evidence collection will allow for the most solid case against the perpetrator. Furthermore, support is available through emotional counseling, and pregnancy and disease prevention are initiated during the examination. Although this was the most emotionally difficult day, it provided valuable knowledge on how to proceed after a sexual assault occurs. And finally, the fourth course was taught by the Krav Maga instructor again, but this time he demonstrated and taught basic Krav Maga techniques that can be applied against an assailant. The students learned and practiced techniques on how to harm an assailant so that they might escape a threatening situation. All four sessions taught the participants new skills and knowledge to prevent and negotiate unsafe situations.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

To determine the effectiveness of the school-based self-defense course, I collected information from student participants by using a seven question pre- and post-survey. The survey asked students about their knowledge regarding sexual assault and how confident they were in their knowledge and skills to prevent and/or handle an unsafe situation. Using a scale from one to five, with one being “don’t agree” and five being “strongly agree”, 15 students completed the pre-survey at the beginning of the first session and 16 students completed the post-survey at the end of the fourth session. All responses were anonymous. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and mean values were calculated for the average of each question by pre- and post-surveys.

The first question asked if the participant was confident in his/her knowledge of how to keep oneself out of an unsafe situation. Before the courses, the average answer was a 3.5 out of five, meaning they had some knowledge, but not a lot. Post course the average was 4.6 out of five, meaning they felt much more comfortable in their knowledge. The second question asked if the participant believed he/she has the skills to recognize an unsafe situation. The pre average was 4.2 out of five, and the post was 4.5 out of five. These results suggested that before the course the participants had confidence in themselves, by the end, there was minimal change. The third question asked if the participant had the basic skills to get oneself out of an unsafe situation, and the pre-test averaged at 2.6 out of five, while the post averaged 4.3 out of five. At the beginning, participants believed that they had proficient skills to escape, but by the end they felt that they had gained skills to escape. This gap between the pre and post was the largest area of growth for all the skills taught. The fourth question asked if the participant would be able to communicate to a date, friend, or stranger clearly so that the other person understood the participant’s physical boundaries. The pre-test averaged at 3.6 out of five and post-test averaged 4.7 out of five meaning they felt they had gained communication skills. The fifth question asked if the participants believed that sexual assault is common among teens their age, the pre averaging at 4.1 out of five and the post averaging 4.7 out of five. This displayed that even though the participants might not have known what to do, they could recognize that sexual assault is a prevalent problem. The sixth question asked if the participant knew the legal steps to take in case the participant or a friend had been sexually assaulted. Pre averaged at 3.3 while post averaged at 4.7 showing that they did learn more of the legal steps to take. The final question asked on the pre-test was if there were any questions or comments, none being received, and the post asked if there were any comments which there were several of:

  • So Helpful!
  • Thank You!
  • Great class! Knowledgeable instructors and great content
  • Thank you so much for putting this together! You (and the course) were great!
  • Thank you Victoria! I learned a lot!

The only negative comment received was from the only male who participated and he voiced that this course my not be the best for males; this may have been because he was uncomfortable being the only male there. So, overall the course was helpful and received very well.

Statistics show that sexual assault is a huge problem among Americans especially students. There is a need to provide knowledge and skills to prevent sexual assault, and if necessary, to get out of an unsafe situation. This course addresses this need though the Big Sisters club at Cherry Creek High School. By teaching the participants about their surroundings, how to keep safe, and some techniques to get out of an unsafe situation, students became more prepared to keep themselves safe as they become independent adults. Post-survey results demonstrate that this program was successful in increasing students’ confidence in their ability to communicate their physical boundaries to a date, friend, or stranger, to believe in their own ability to get themselves out of an unsafe situation, and to know the legal steps if they or a friend has been sexually assaulted. Such critical skills are important as students become adults.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

I set up my project at Cherry Creek High School through the Big Sisters organization. Big Sisters at Cherry Creek High School has agreed to continue this program in the coming year without my assistance running it.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

To link my project on the national/global level, I created a website that provides resources for someone else to incorporate this type of program into their community. The link is:  https://vrd319.wixsite.com/self-defense. The website includes research, the steps that can be taken to create a four-week self-defense course, a four-week course outline, a sample flyer, a course introductory presentation, a pre- and post-survey, and additional resources.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I like everything to be organized perfectly with no flaws, and go the way I plan it to go. However, no matter how much planning I do, things do not work out as I plan. Because of this realization, I became a better leader because now I am much more flexible. I know that life happens, and the best we can do is to go with the flow while continuing to work toward the goal.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

The Gold Award has impacted my learning path tremendously. Since I want to go to school to be a nurse, meeting and talking about the kind of work SANE nurses do has established an interest in that field of nursing in which I may decide to major.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was the final piece of a 12-year journey. I started Girl Scouts as a young, inexperienced six-year-old girl and finished it as a wise and resourceful 18-year-old woman. The project I created incorporated all the skills I learned from Girl Scouts over the past 12 years, putting them into practice. It was a wonderful way to conclude one of the most imperative learning experiences of my life.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a go-getter because I started with a team of people who then did not follow through with my project and I was left with no team. I was a go-getter because I did not let this discourage me, but rather found a new team and kept going.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Berthoud Service Unit hosts self-defense class

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Submitted by Jen Rotar

Northern & Northeastern CO


On May 7, 2017, the Berthoud Service Unit welcomed retired police officer Kate Hudson for an informational session to share smart self-defense tips with all Berthoud-area Girl Scouts. Ms. Hudson was in law enforcement for over 22 years, a women’s self-defense instructor, a Rape Crisis Team counselor, and a member of the Larimer County Peer Support Team.

During the Daisy/Brownie session, girls and their parents learned about stranger danger and many tips for being safe at home and while playing outdoors or on troop outings. Juniors and Cadettes were presented with extra information about safety while babysitting and how to avoid being the victim of crime.

These important reminders reinforce good safety habits on a daily basis and teach girls how to protect themselves and others— and may inspire a girl to consider a career in law enforcement!

The event was organized by Jen Rotar for the Berthoud Service Unit and held at the Berthoud Athletic Club.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Basic self defense workshop

Submitted by Shawna Fisch

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch/Denver

Come participate in this fun and informative event lead by a Girl Scout whose mission now is to empower girls and women in teaching basic self defense awareness, knowledge, and skills!

This workshop is appropriate for Girl Scouts 12 years and older (as well as moms!) However, there are only a handful of remaining spots open; and we expect this event to sell out very soon! Register BEFORE April 8, 2017 to get your tickets for just $25 per person.

Topics will include:

-How to walk confidently
-How to use your voice with authority (in a Self Defense situation as well as in everyday situations)
-How to avoid a potentially dangerous situation
-How to stick up for a friend who is being bullied
-How to assert yourself in asking for help when necessary
-How not to be identified as a potential victim
-What are “good instincts” vs. reactions that we can change when necessary and informed?
-What is a “must fight” situation?
-What are the four most important striking targets and how to strike when absolutely necessary?

Some non-strenuous exercises for beginners during the second 1/2 of the one hour Workshop. Wear comfortable clothing. We do not go into advanced techniques.

Register/tickets available at ironcladfit.zenplanner.com

Hosted by: Iron Clad Fitness (Shari Wagner): 2171 South Trenton Way, Suite 225, Denver

Date: Saturday, April 29, 2017

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Presenter: Sensei Shawna Fisch: Girl Scout, 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor; Certified Basic Archery Instructor:
720-290-7398. See the Anytime Activities/Athletic section to book your own private session for your troop at Sensei Shawna’s state-of-the-art home Dojo or on-site. Content is modified for younger Scouts.

Girl Scouts will learn that being empowered comes from knowledge, awareness, fitness, confidence and action.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Carissa Flores, Westminster, “Inform, Protect, Take Action”


What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created, coordinated, and led three separate age-related self-defense seminars: children, teens, and adults each with individual curriculum an average of 30 people, 90 people total and started the Women’s Self-Defense Club at Broomfield High School which currently meets once month for an hour with a different focus area of self-defense each month.

At the children’s seminar, I taught for about an hour and 15 minutes then presented a five-minute video to the kids so they could respond to real life situations. At the teen’s and adult’s seminar, I had the Blue Bench present for the first 15 minutes then taught for about an hour. The curriculum, in general, was the same but used different scenarios.

My club empowers and teaches women how to protect themselves against sexual assault; I develop curriculum, run meetings, teach self-defense. The Broomfield High School Family and Consumer Science department is implementing my curriculum into their courses and having me or another instructor from my Taekwondo school come teach self-defense to their classes.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I had an entry and exit survey for each seminar age group which all displayed a positive trend of the attendee’s knowledge and self-confidence of self-defense growing. I have the most recent data for the City and County of Broomfield from 2014 and 2013 that shows a decline in the rate of rape in Broomfield.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement? 

The creation of my Women’s Self-Defense Club at Broomfield High School was the most successful part of my project. It is the one thing that will keep on going after I graduate from Broomfield High School. I have a letter of commitment from my two club sponsors and principal stating that the club will continue and sponsor an annual self-defense seminar and that my sponsor from the Family and Consumer Science department will implement my curriculum into her courses and have me or another instructor from my Taekwondo school, once I graduate come teach self-defense to her classes. At my seminar, I gave two-week free passes to my Taekwondo school or gave people the option to join my club to further their knowledge. My legacy at Broomfield High School will be left in the club I created that will be able to ensure the safety of women at Broomfield High School after I graduate.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

At my self-defense seminar in April, I had the Blue Bench come in and talk about setting boundaries (verbal and physical), listening to your instincts, common responses to sexual assault (fight, flight, freeze), how to support a survivor, statistics, and a success story. I integrated parts of ATA martial arts Krav Maga training, self-defense I learn in class on a daily basis, and tips and tricks I think important into my curriculum.

What did you learn about yourself?

I love teaching. It is the greatest feeling watching people’s knowledge grow when they have an “ah-ha” moment while I am teaching something to them and to know that I have made an impact in their lives, something they can utilize later in their lives.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

It has given me skills I will be able to utilize in the future. I learned how to effectively communicate, bring a diverse team together to achieve a goal, utilize social media to reach the masses, organize, plan, and host a large event, manage money, lead, improvise with what I am given, and much more that now just seems natural to me. This directly helped me with the creation of another club at my school in which I had to go through all the same steps I did with the creation of my Women’s Self-Defense club; this time, of course, it was much smoother and I could tell my leadership was much more natural.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

It allowed me to grow in ways that can’t be taught and that can’t be seen until reflection is done. I was able to execute a project that made a difference in my community addressing a topic that was important to me and doing it in a way that utilized talents I already had and formed new ones. I was able to see all of the things I had learned in Girl Scouts come together giving me the tools I needed to accomplish my Gold Award. I was able to see the impact that Girl Scouts had on my life that I never realized.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Girl Scout Gold Award Project, “Protect Yourself”

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25133josie teaching kick

Submitted by Josie Natrasevschi
Northern Colorado & Northeastern Colorado

1 out of 4 women are attacked while in college. This was the case for my sister as well as a statistic. I have been working on my Girl Scout Gold Award project, “Protect Yourself.” I teach young women to protect themselves with self-defense, travel in groups and watch out for each other. You go with a friend to a party and you leave with that friend. You have each other’s back and watch each other’s drink.

I addressed the issue of sexual assault in my project. This issue revolves around the practice of knowingly causing another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat. It is also one of the most prominent issues in the world being that every two minutes someone in the United States man or woman is sexually assaulted. My target audiences ranges from students of the age 14 to students to the age 17 due to the fact that those within the ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. After participants finish the class they gain basic self-defense skills as well as strategic thinking methods that will aid in surviving an assault.

Through participating in the project many find themselves with confidence, that previously they were lacking in. This project also provided information about sexual assault and what to watch out for when traveling alone or in a group so as to avoid being assaulted. The project will be sustained beyond my direct involvement by the teachers that I trained to teach the class. They will put the course in the classes they teach and will continue doing so long after I graduated.

Sexual assault is a global issue and is seen all over the world as shown by the startling statistics: “An estimated 150 million girls under 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone”(saynotoviolence.org) and in the multiple articles and news exposes that focus on the issue of sexual assault alone, a few of the more startling being “In a Global First, Global Data on Violence Against Women” by Dan Morrison of National Geographic , and “Egypt: Epidemic of Sexual Violence” by Human Rights Watch.

Throughout my project I encountered numerous set backs. Among all of my set backs the largest one was without doubt the numerous hardships me and my family went through last year. They ranged from a friend taking his own life to my grandmother passing away, with a few unfortunate additions in between. It was little more than a miracle that I was in fact able to overcome the emotional torrent that was my life but I did so with the help of my troop and my friends who encouraged me to continue to pursue my passions. Among my few passions this project resides and I relentlessly moved step by step foreword until I finally completed it.

In order to inspire others I took many different approaches. I first created a blog http://protecty0urself.wordpress.com/ to address widespread issues and promote change. I then dove head first into teaching anyone I could, the skills that were imparted unto me by my instructor Chet Barnett who most generously donated his time to train me. I taught people at Fossil Ridge High School, Girls State in Gunnison CO, at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Boston to my group the Nightingales, at Brown University to my floor in the dorms, and lastly to the teachers at Fort Collins High School.

I learned that despite how daunting a task may seem it is possible to complete and improve it with enough hard work and dedication. That being said this project force fed me a dose of humility and surprised me by transforming my outlook on life. It made me look for the genuine good in people and to stop taking things so personally because I now realize that I don’t actually know what is going on in their lives and I have no place to judge them without first knowing the full and comprehensive story behind their actions.

Another thing I learned about myself was that I could do something special, that I could change the world. I am most proud of the fact that whoever is touched by this project will be more prepared to take on the world head on. They will be less hindered by the fears that come with living alone or walking the streets at night because of the information that they learned by taking the class. I have taught them to be safe and know that they are safer just by taking my class. I developed healthy relationships of trust and respect between myself and those I taught. I have learned how to teach, speak, and communicate effectively.

I also developed a deep connection to my community, locally and globally by teaching the class to those who live as close as Fort Collins and as far as China. I identified a community issue, sexual assault and decided to make a difference both locally and globally by developing a class and blogging. In doing so I ran into a couple of problems a major one being how to make my project sustainable but I solved that by resolving to train the teachers in my school the program. Throughout my project I felt empowered to make a difference in the world and I acted on that empowerment by educating as many as I could about sexual assault and self-defense.

I’d like to Thank Chet Barnett of: Krav Maga self-defense (2439 South College Ave Unit C2, Fort Collins, CO 80525) for training me in self-defense for my Girl Scout Gold Award project. Thank Mrs. Neal of Fossil Ridge High School for participating in my program with her class. A special shout out to Coach Conrad Crist Fort Collins High School who helped me complete my project.

I published an article about my project in the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=10KRJ6s0xNM]

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25133teaching protect your face
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25133know your stance

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Troop 50548 Sponsors Girl Scout Self-Defense Workshop!

Submitted by troop leader, Judy Moisey Asay.

Troop 50548 had a great turnout for this year’s Girl Scout Self-Defense Workshop on November 7, 2012! Approximately 42 girls participated in the self-defense course at Z-Ultimate Defense Studios West Arvada; everyone had a great time and expanded their knowledge on ways to be safe in their community! Girls earned the Northern California Girl Scout Council self-defense badge for both Brownie and Junior levels. Daisies received a general self-defense fun patch.

Girls who are involved in Girl Scouts will also have the opportunity to learn more about martial arts at Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios West Arvada. Available is a free 30-day trial and free enrollment; this is a spectacular way to continue and learn about self-defense training through martial arts!

For more information regarding opportunities with the Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios West Arvada, contact:

Sensei Alton at (303) 463-8773 or westarvada@zultimate.com

Aurora Girl Scouts participate in self-defense workshop

From Angela Jenkins, volunteer mother

Girl Scout Cadette Troops 1281 and 3036 from Aurora participated in a self-defense workshop sponsored as a community service by the National Martial Arts Academy (www.wushunmaa.com). Master Instructor Shifu Jerry Silva (far right, standing) led the fall workshop, based on the teachings of Kung Fu martial arts and basic techniques to empower the teens to improve their confidence, knowledge and self-esteem in a defense situation.