r Just don’t freeze up, respond with confidence to a threat is the advice of a new program being offered for women in our community. This program is the result of actual events in the life of Karen Knudsen, who has become an amazingly passionate advocate and instructor of teaching women to defend themselves. The threat may be an abusive relationship, a date gone bad or a stranger in a dark parking lot. Karen teaches her students to stand up for themselves emotionally and physically. It sounds like survival skills for the common woman.
Karen’s first husband was dominating, aggressive, abusive and ultimately dangerous. The abusive behavior ended with Karen receiving blood clots in the brain and losing her eyesight for a short period of time. Years after the dramatic events of her first marriage, her second husband – to whom she was happily married – recognized that she was still walking around in fear. That’s when he suggested a program taught by Officers Josh Hansen and Jon Rochette of the Orem Police Department.
Officer Rochette (now retired) was so impressed with Karen’s personal commitment to help girls and women learn to protect themselves that he asked her to participate in the program by helping out as an instructor. Having been beaten up physically and emotionally, she understands the fear women have to live with. This is now a personal crusade for Karen Knudsen and she is doing a marvelous job at it.
The first step in the process is to develop self-esteem and self confidence. With the traumatic history of some of the women attending the class, this can be a challenge. Karen says the resulting transformation into the world of the positive is incredibly rewarding to witness. Next is developing an awareness of your surroundings. This is followed by learning the techniques and strategies of avoiding close contact. Finally, what to do about various scenarios of unwanted contact is addressed, including the most dangerous situation of finding yourself on the ground.
After helping out with the women’s self defense program at the Orem Police Department for the past two years, Karen has moved to Spanish Fork and will help start a program at the Spanish Fork Police Department. The Spanish Fork Women’s Self Defense class will meet once a week for six weeks from 7 to 9 p.m. beginning Wednesday, April 5. The class is open to girls and women ages 15 and older. There is a fee of $50 for the class. For more information, look up the Spanish Fork Women’s Self Defense Facebook Page or call Karen at 801-404-6546.