“Women’s Self-Defense” is a phrase that typically gets pinned to a seminar held for mom’s in their 30’s and 40’s who want to feel safe. While that is a part of this idea, I think it’s even more important for women in their late-teens and 20’s to feel empowered through this too. Knowing how to defend yourself can benefit you in more ways than one and I want to help empower women of all ages with the right tools and mindset to help them feel more confident and safe no matter where they are.

My name is Marisa Ayerst and I began training in Choi Kwang Do when I was 3 years old with my dad at a gym in Southeastern Michigan. Now, 19 years later, I am a third degree black belt and I live in Brooklyn, New York. My dad now owns a Choi Kwang Do school of his own and my mom and three siblings have been training as well. This martial art has taken us all over the world as we have become friends with international instructors and school owners.

Choi Kwang Do (CKD) is not a traditional martial art. It was founded in 1987 by Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi of South Korea who was in the United States to go through rehab after becoming paralyzed while training in Tae Kwon Do. Grandmaster Choi now lives in Atlanta, Georgia where CKD is headquartered. While in rehab, he began researching the human body and how all of the muscles and joints work together to keep the body healthy. He developed a new martial art that helps people learn how to defend themselves while not doing harm to the body through the study of biomechanics and kinesiology.

With this blog, I am hopeful to encourage and empower women everywhere with the knowledge of how to defend themselves while also taking care of their bodies. This is a holistic martial art that works with the body AND mind in the pursuit of optimal health.