Girls Learn Self-Defense in Jodi Sanderholm’s Hometown

April 17, 2009


by Jim Grawe (ARKANSAS CITY, Kan.)

Young women in Arkansas City are learning they don’t have to be big and strong to protect themselves.

A father-daughter duo came to teach young women how to fend off would-be abductors.

“We are trying to shock the guy,” 15-year-old Jenna Rangel of “Girl 2 Girl Self Defense” says.  “We’re not trying to fight him, we’re just trying to get away.”

Jenna teamed up with her dad, who’s a martial arts instructor in Newton, for this program they are kicking off in the hometown of Jodi Sanderholm. Jodi was kidnapped and murdered in 2007.

“Usually when girls get frightened they freeze,” Jodi’s mother Cindy says. “This is all about teaching repetition so its an automatic brain thing to fight back if somebody comes up and scares them,”

It’s all about how to react verbally and physically when encountering an attacker.

Helping with the demonstration was Jodi’s sister Jennifer.

“I can just imagine my sister was terrified and didn’t know what to do to get herself away from it,” Jennifer says.  “I didn’t realize that the palm of my hand or my knee or my foot could be such a huge weapon in defending myself to get myself away from someone.”

A single event isn’t likely to teach the young women here everything they need to know. That’s why there’s a DVD to help girls fine-tune the skills that could prevent them from becoming victims like Jodi. 

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