As a childhood survivor of sexual violence, our Co-Founder Andrea was tired of PTSD controlling her life. She decided to invest in self-defense classes hoping they would give her more confidence. While she did experience some healing, it took much longer because she was constantly retraumatized throughout the training.
The most damaging part about trauma is the loss of control, so the most healing thing you can do for yourself is gain a sense of control back. Defense training is a body-focused treatment that activates the limbic system, the part of the brain active during a traumatic event. The National Alliance on Mental Illness* advocates that Limbic System Therapy is the treatment of choice for trauma. *nami.org
Krav Maga is a practical system which teaches how to prevent, respond to, and overcome different types of violence and attacks. It uses instinctive and natural body movement, repetition, and muscle memory which makes it easy to learn, retain, and use in stressful circumstances. It is perfect for beginners and people with different abilities.
Why not "Cor Self-Defense?"
People who experience sexual and/or domestic violence not need to know self-defense to prevent future violence. They experienced violence because someone chose to be violent. By calling it self-defense, many survivors blame themselves by saying that it was their responsibility to know these techniques. False. The survivor is never to blame.
Our instructors, Andrea and Lonnie Person, are certified through the Krav Maga Foundation as Civilian and Children's Instructors, meaning they each have 180+ dedicated hours to learning how to teach Krav Maga, in addition to innumerable hours of training as a practitioner in preparation of taking the certification course.
They are certified Trauma-Informed Care Trainers through the Wellpoint Care Network, a leading organization in trauma-informed care integration and training.
Andrea also has 10+ years as a human services provider (including working with children who have experienced sexual violence), and with this experience countless hours of trauma-informed and therapeutic training. Her lived experience as a childhood survivor of sexual and domestic violence and her personal experience with being retraumatized through defense training fuels her passion to provide trauma-informed defense training that resists retraumatization and offers healing.
Lonnie and Andrea making weird faces and posing for a picture while wearing martial arts chest guard
Lonnie answers the question,
"What do you love about instructing?"
Andrea joking about the
warm-up the survivor chose!
Cor is the Latin root word for courage, and it means heart. It takes courage to face your fears and show up. It also takes courage to listen to your heart and act on what you need. It takes courage to find and use your voice. It is perfectly normal to question whether you have the courage to do this; courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving forward in the presence of fear. We are cultivators of courage.
Equity is having access to the opportunity, networks, and resources needed to thrive and succeed. We believe if you have access to what you need to heal, you can reach your full potential. We are students of equity. We are committed to listening, learning, and unlearning in order to provide you with the tools you need to reach your full potential. Victim-blaming has no room to flourish here. It was not and will never be your fault. Your brain appropriately responded to an abnormal stress, and we want to help it heal from that abnormal stress.
You have the power to control how far you advance with Cor Defense. You have the power to pause, to process, to push forward, and to set the pace. You have the power to control every aspect of your training. You have the power to control what you are going to do with this trauma. This is your journey. We will be with you every step of the way, in the pauses and in the processing and in the pushing forward.
Providing trauma-informed defense training for survivors of sexual violence means we must understand that the impact of trauma on the brain is complicated, compounded, and individualistic. It is our priority to recruit Board Members who reflect the population of people we serve.
We have removed a specific financial commitment to serve on the Board of Cor Defense, enabling people who have lower income to serve on the Board. Our board members also represent the survivors we train: of the 5 board members, 3 are survivors of sexual violence, 1 identifies as a person of color, 4 are female, and 1 identifies in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Additionally, we have formed an Advisory Committee which will provide an independent sounding board for the Board of Directors. Survivors, family members, friends, colleagues from other nonprofits or businesses in the community, community members, and parents/guardians are encouraged and welcome to sit on the Advisory Committee.