As I opened the door to the MKG Madison gym, I could feel my nervous energy kicking into overdrive. I turned to my friend and exclaimed “Here we go!” I had previously met Kay briefly on two other occasions, and was looking forward to spending this time with her. I had no idea what to expect from our adventure, and blown away by the doors it opened for us to be closer than I imagined.

I was blessed to have a self-defense learning opportunity. The training was hosted in Madison at MKG, and they brought in one of the best; Guro Diana Rathborne (Rathborne Training LLC). Although I hadn’t been around MMA for very long; Guro Di was already a legend in my eyes. Her stamina, charisma, knowledge, and skill set are inspiring attributes. She is a strong woman, a great leader/trainer, and famous in my eyes. I was stoked, nervous, and excited all rolled into one. I wasn’t going to miss this chance! Kay and I signed up together–we both thought having someone we knew in a room of strangers was a good safety net.

Little did we know, at the time, all of us students together would become the net.
Self-defense is much more than we believed it was. Whatever your brain imagines when you hear these two words put together–times that by ten–and you’re still just scratching the surface. Learning self-defense brings forth:

1. Self Confidence.
2. Awareness of our Surroundings.
3. Knowledge of Possible Escape Routes.
4. The Combinations we need to Stay Calm, Focused, and Safe.
5. Our Ability to Acknowledge/Control any Chaotic Happenstance.
6. Recognize an Unhealthy/Unwarranted Situation and Act Accordingly.
7. Basic Moves: Punches, eye-rakes, groin kicks, foot stomps, elbows…etc.
8. Life Long Information we will be sharing with others.
9. A Sense of Security and Safety that No One can take away.
10. An Unforgettable Experience with Laughter, Togetherness, and Fun.

Guro Di has been teaching Self Defense for many years, and has the techniques, lessons, and training format down to a science. She kept things flowing flawlessly and the time simply flew by. It only took us about 20 minutes to begin cheering each other on and forming a bond. If ever you have the opportunity to learn from Guro Diana; take it. It will change your life and add explosives to your arsenal of secret weapons.

Tina Marshall