|Vulnerability, strength and force can turn women into fighters. Female Missouri State students learned self defense tactics recently after Erin Weed, 30, of Chicago, founder of the organization Girls Fight Back, spoke in the Plaster Student Union to an audience of 100 people.
After her sorority sister, Shannon McNamara, was stalked and killed in 2001, Weed became an author, speaker, certified self-defense instructor and advocate for women’s safety. She now travels the globe educating audiences on preventing attacks, trusting one's intuition and basic self defense moves.
Casey Watson, 19, of Ankeny, IA, who works at the Quality Inn in Springfield, wanted a few pointers on self-defense.
“Construction workers and truckers come into the motel often. They just sit and watch me,” said Watson. “It really creeps me out.”
Watson brought one of her co-workers, Rachel Buck, 18, of Monett, to the talk. After listening to Weed speak Buck said that she became “a little more aware” of self defense.
“Learning the hotspots was extremely beneficial,” Watson said. Weed had described the hotspots as the places on a person’s body where he or she is the most vulnerable. The hotspots on an attacker are the temple, nose, eyes, throat, shin, groin, and spine.
Weed’s goal is for women to know basic self defense moves and become more aware of their surroundings. Weed encourages women to take more in-depth self defense classes after her program. She empowers women to forget prince charming and “open up a can of whoop-ass.”
Weed herself continues self defense training by taking classes twice a week. She has been featured in Cosmo Girl, Marie Claire, Ladies'Home Journal, Glamour, several newspapers and many university publications.