Growing up in a small town that had once been devastated by a tsunami, I have always been worried about future danger. In elementary school, I always kept a small suitcase packed in case we had to evacuate. As an adult, I keep an emergency tote in the back of my car.

Ever since I knew it existed, I have loved martial arts and self-defense. As a kid I trained Taekwondo and karate. In high school, I was lucky enough to get to choose between Japanese Jiu Jitsu or P.E., who wants to run around a gymnasium when you can learn life saving techniques? I’ve taken boxing lessons, tried Muay Thai and Sambo, but what I really fell in love with was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I recently earned my purple belt and currently work as a manager at the Jiu Jitsu school where I study and coach kids class.

I used to think that women’s self-defense training was my calling in life, but as the 1 in 6 campaign has shown us, everyone needs self-defense training. I am working on my Master’s in Public Administration. My goal is to work with non-profits and create a program to train social workers or anyone in the public service field who is in danger of violence.