Monday, May 7, 2012

Two Friends Teach IMPACT

Molly and Nat are friends. Nat is a librarian who lives in Northfield, Minnesota. Molly is an acoustics consultant who lives in Chicago. Every so often Nat gets in his car and drives 7 hours to meet up with Molly. In May, Molly and Nat will meet at Dominican University Gym in River Forest. Nat will put on a suit of armor and Molly will put on a whistle and together they will teach women to be their own superheros.

Molly and Nat are instructors with IMPACT Chicago. May 18, 19, and 20 they will teach (along with Rob Babcock and Margaret Vimont) the IMPACT Chicago Core Program. The Core Program is IMPACT Chicago's most intensive program, allowing women to gain the most self-defense training in the shortest amount of time. Over the three-day program, Molly will teach women how to increase their awareness, verbal boundary setting, and physical skills.

Women will practice these skills in simulated real life scenarios where Nat, in his body armor, will take on a range of roles, including the nice guy looking for his lost dog, the co-worker who disrespects his colleague’s boundaries, and the date who decides he wants more than dinner. Molly will be right there with each woman, coaching if she gets stuck and cheering her as she defends herself.

With Nat in the armor, women will set strong verbal boundaries and practice delivering strikes and kicks with full force, just as they would need to in an actual attack. By the end of the course, women will have repeatedly practiced skills to assess danger, set boundaries, and respond effectively to verbal and physical attacks.

Jennifer who is now her own superhero says: “IMPACT allowed me to find strength, both emotionally and physically, to defend myself. I feel empowered not only in my belief that I can safely get out of potentially dangerous situations; I also feel like I have the ability to face up to all challenges I will face in my life—IMPACT helped me to learn to believe in myself.”

Molly Norris has a BA in Physics with a minor in Music from Boston University, an MA from Stanford University in Music, Science, and Technology, and an MS in Building Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She also studied opera in Lucca Italy and now studies and performs vocal jazz. She is an acoustics consultant at Threshold Acoustics.

Nat Wilson has an MA in History along with a Secondary Education Teachers Certificate DePaul University and an MLS from University of Illinois 2009. He works at Carleton College as the Digital Archivist and Library Technology Coordinator. Nat lives in Northfield Minnesota with his wife Martha (Molly’s best friend).

Amelia says: “I cannot say enough good things about what IMPACT has done and meant for me. IMPACT has given me the confidence to react in any situation, whether it's as little as setting a verbal boundary with someone on the train or as major as defending myself in a physically violent situation in the community or, heaven forbid, my own home. IMPACT brings out the inner super woman that you never thought you had, or were afraid to show!

Yes, women leave IMPACT knowing they are their own superheros. We just haven’t figured out yet what to call Molly and Nat—super-super heroes or just heroes?

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