Apr. 7—As mayoral candidate Wayne Williams intently monitored Tuesday night’s election returns on the Patty Jewett Golf Course clubhouse, about 4 dozen girls have been on the opposite facet of the constructing, training acts of violence.
They punched, they kicked, they gouged, they usually laughed — all below the watchful eye of a deceptively petite, ponytailed blonde who can take down a person twice her dimension.
“Cocktails and Kicking Butt,” a self-defense workshop for feminine actual property brokers, is the brainchild of Brittney Hansen, Colorado Springs department supervisor on the Fairway Impartial Mortgage Corps. Hansen has created a private security initiative for Fairway girls that features self-defense instruction, a canister of pepper spray and a noisemaker for every new worker.
“Nearly all of Realtors are girls,” Hansen mentioned. “There’s quite a lot of alternative for a lady in that business to be attacked. (The self-defense workshop) simply made sense.”
Hansen was the mind behind the workshop. Self-defense teacher Rachel Mahloch was the muscle.
Mahloch, who runs a Boulder-based private security coaching firm known as Battle Girl, mentioned the excessive focus of girls in the actual property area, mixed with fluctuations within the housing market, mix to make the business an opportune goal for predators.
“There are what I wish to name ‘nefarious play actors’ on the market who will make an appointment to see a home, with the intent to rape or kill,” Mahloch mentioned. “(Actual-estate brokers) need and wish the income, so they could go towards their intestine instincts and decide that they would not in any other case make, which might put them in jeopardy.”
Kelley Bergendahl, a Colorado Springs-based real-estate agent who attended the Tuesday workshop, agrees.
“Being a girl in actual property will be scary typically,” Bergendahl mentioned. “You do not at all times know what you are strolling into.”
In accordance with information from the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors, about 65% of real-estate brokers within the U.S. are feminine, 1 in 5 brokers have been in a piece scenario that made them concern for his or her private security, and hundreds of actual property brokers are attacked on the job every year.
When Hansen approached Mahloch with the idea of “Cocktails and Kicking Butt,” it felt like a no brainer.
“I feel extra corporations must be doing what (Fairway Impartial) is doing,” Mahloch mentioned.
After almost twenty years of finding out varied martial arts together with Muay Thai, aikido, tae kwon do and Krav Maga, Mahloch has cherry-picked “all one of the best issues” from every self-discipline and mixed them right into a course of instruction that teaches girls the quickest and best methods to get out of harmful conditions.
“Self protection will not be a sport,” mentioned Mahloch, who holds two black belts and is nearing completion on a 3rd. “There is not any weight courses on the road. I need to educate girls sensible issues which might be easy, efficient, straightforward to recollect, and that may be practiced again and again.”
Along with her martial-arts background, Mahloch incorporates classes realized from her earlier careers into the Battle Girl program. From her coaching as an opera singer, she makes use of respiration workout routines that may assist calm the physique throughout nerve-racking conditions. She makes use of negotiating abilities she acquired in company enterprise to show verbal menace deescalation. And as an assault survivor herself, Mahloch brings empathy to her coaching periods.
“I’ve been assaulted,” she mentioned. “I do know what can occur, so I educate girls to attempt to keep away from harmful conditions, to deescalate when potential, and if all else fails, to defend themselves.”
The primary line of protection, Mahloch mentioned, is situational consciousness. In the midst of their work, girls actual property brokers sometimes discover themselves alone with a person they’ve by no means met.
“Belief your intestine,” she mentioned. “Your intestine is your first indication that one thing is mistaken, and you must take heed to it at all times. The minute you’re feeling unsafe in a house, simply get out should you can.”
If preventing again is the one choice, Mahloch mentioned, the target is to incapacitate an attacker and get to security. The strikes and kicks she teaches in her Battle Girl, Battle Mother and Battle Lady programs are particularly for that function.
“If (a scenario) will get bodily, you need to be out and in in three seconds,” she mentioned. “You need to shortly neutralize the menace, and get away.”
Mahloch stresses that real-estate brokers ought to create a private security plan and bring it to mind.
“We make plans for our funds, for holidays…for nearly each side of our lives besides private security — and that is probably the most essential factor we must be making a plan for.”
The turnout for “Cocktails and Kicking Butt,” and the response afterward, confirmed Hansen’s perception that each feminine actual property agent within the U.S. must be taking an identical course, she mentioned.
“They liked it,” she mentioned. “Each actual property firm must be providing one thing like this.”
“I felt extremely empowered (after the workshop),” Bergendahl mentioned. “Simply having that little little bit of confidence, and data and preparedness could make the distinction in you attending to security, or it may be lifesaving.”
The actual-estate brokers left the workshop with elevated confidence, geared up with a brand new private security device. However, Mahloch cautioned, it is a device that may turn out to be ineffective if it is not usually honed by apply, apply, apply.
“The workshops are fantastic, they usually’re empowering, they usually’re enjoyable,” Battle Girl mentioned. “However a single workshop is not going to guard you. Ladies have to apply this usually. Ideally, they need to be integrating it into their exercises. When you solely be taught one strike, apply it 10,000 occasions. Make it your superpower.”