Self Defense Class

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012

On a recent Saturday, I gathered with several women of all ages to get a little physical and learn the basics of self defense from the masters at Wright’s ATA Martial Arts School in east Memphis.

We still felt kinda silly

The school, located near Napa Café and Muddy’s is under the direction of Mr. Thomas Wright. It’s Memphis’ newest independently owned and operated Taekwondo martial arts school, affiliated with the American Taekwondo Association, the world’s largest centralized martial arts organization.

Getting warmed up

Our group was made up of mothers, wives and girlfriends of all ages who all came to the mat motivated to protect ourselves and the ones we love.  

These middle school gals were serious

Always keep a clear head!

Mr. Wright and the lovely Ms. Rachel Laycook talked us through some pretty scary but very real-life scenarios. Then they showed us the basics of making a fist, how to throw a punch, how to kick and where and how to get out of some sticky situations with weapons! We had great fun, burned up some calories and really learned a lot. I started out in my cute lululemon hoodie but quickly warmed up! I can see where martial arts would be quite a workout! Our photographer Christen Morrison captured some great action shots that day.  

It always feels weird to choke your friend

Kick technique


Perhaps the greatest lessons that I will take with me from this class are to always remember to keep a clear head and to be aware of your surroundings. Today’s modern lifestyle comes with so many distractions, but when we can remain calm and recall the basic skills we’ve learned, the odds can be in our favor.

These friends were having fun!

Mr. Wright’s Top Five Safety Tips for Self Defense:
1)  Be aware of your surroundings before you enter or leave a place; look around, shoulders back, etc…Look confident and if anything looks or feels suspicious, leave.
2)  Keep keys and phone on your body, not in your purse.
3)  Don’t overload yourself with shopping bags in the parking lot; condense your shopping bags in the mall or store.
4)  Confront assailants – make as much noise as possible. A LOT OF NOISE!
5)  Aim for sensitive targets/joints: Eyes, throat, groin, knees.
6)  Practice, practice, practice!

The staff at Wright’s ATA Martial Arts offer martial arts offer classes to students of all ages where they not only learn to protect themselves but they also learn very valuable ATA life skills such as Integrity, Goals, Honesty, Respect, Self-Control and Courtesy.  Grab your girlfriends and mark your calendars, they are planning their next women’s self defense for March 17, 1pm.

Mr. Wright's passion for teaching is evident

 For more information on the school and the programs they offer, please visit