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Self defense opportunities for women

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Cheri Michel epitomizes strength, whether she's practicing yoga or martial arts.

"I'm a third degree black belt, also a first degree tae kwan do.  I've studied different styles," Michel said.

That's now, though. Twenty years ago, she got attacked in her own home.

"I was followed home from the mall, just wasn't paying attention," Michel said.

Cheri is using what she learned from yoga and martial arts and her experience to help other women.

"With these women that were found (in Ohio), and that's an awesome thing, you don't really hear about that, I think it struck a cord in a lot of women," Michel said.

She's now getting back to teaching a self defense class this weekend. Another power woman trying to give power to other women is Mika Moulton. She created Christopher's Clubhouse after her ten-year-old son got kidnapped and murdered. She helps not just children but women, too.
"They learn how to keep themselves safe in every situation, whether they're standing in line at an ATM, walking down the street and someone grabs them, or if they're sound asleep at night and someone were to climb in their room," Moulton said.

Mika and Cheri have the same message, prevention.

"I had my hands tied behind my back and a gun to my head, and there's not too much you can do in that situation. That's why we spend so much time talking about awareness, avoid getting in that situation," Michel said.

"We want them to be proactive instead of reactive," Moulton said.

"That's the empowerment, to know they can use this information to prevent a situation from happening," Michel said.

Now Cheri is prepared, and can really hold her own.

Cheri is offering a self defense class, Stun-N-Run, to teach protection techniques and how to use pepper spray and a taser. The class is Saturday, May 18th from 12:30 to 3:30 at Go With the Flow Yoga in Palm Desert. The class is $65 a person. Call 760-342-5127 or 760-862-9889 for more information or to sign up.

Christopher's Clubhouse offers RAD for Women, a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for teen girls and women. This is a comprehensive, 12 hour, women-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. For more information or to sign up, visit

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