Dear Mr. Kipp,

I had an experience last week which made me so very grateful that I had taken your FAST Defense class about one year ago. It was actually the second of these classes which I had taken. I found the classes very empowering and worthwhile. Little did I know I would actually have to use the information I learned in them!banner02

I was home last Tuesday morning when my doorbell rang. I looked through the peephole and saw a man who I did not recognize so I decided not to answer. I guessed he was a solicitor and I was busy. He continued to ring the bell several times (my first red flag, though I didn’t realize this at the time). A few minutes after the ringing stopped, I heard my dogs barking wildly in the kitchen, which meant they saw someone in our backyard. My inner voice told me not to go outside, but I was still curious if a utility worker may be out there. Another red flag arose. “Would a utility worker be in my backyard without my permission?”
I looked out my bathroom window and saw a man trying to open the service entrance door to my garage. In a firm and steady voice, I asked him what he was doing. He said a water pipe had broke in the street and he had to get to get inside immediately to shut off the water valve in my house. There was nothing about this man’s appearance or demeanor that frightened me. He looked like a regular guy trying to do his job except that he didn’t have on a uniform or I.D. badge (red flag #3!). He asked me once more with some urgency to please let him to turn off the water. “Didn’t my supervisor call you? He was supposed to.” All during our conversation I had an inner conversation going on at the same time. I finally decided that there was nothing to decide. I had too many questions and I didn’t want to see the danger level raise any higher. I made a point of keeping my voice from sounding high or questioning as I told him to leave. When he implored me once more to let him in, I repeated, “LEAVE NOW!”. He said he would just go to his car to get I.D.. He drove away.

When the sheriff arrived, he said it was definitely an attempted break in. I don’t think I would have trusted my inner voice had I not taken your classes. I am not by nature a suspicious person. The wonderful thing was that I did not feel paralyzed by fear, I felt strengthened by it. I felt confidence in my suspicions. My husband, children, and friends are also grateful that I took your class.


Karla Homan

p.s. I’m pretty sure I heard the voices of my FAST Defense classmates cheering me on!

FAST Works!

It happened the night after I took the F.A.S.T. Defense class at the ?MAX Family Training Center? run by Liz and John Durning, in Ardmore. I had just finished a kickboxing class there, and was walking back to my car. When this 30?ish big guy approached me and said ?Hi.? Since I was so close to my car, I didn?t pay him any mind and just jumped in and rode off, thinking I was so smart to have lost him. Little did I know how na?ve I was.

Before going home, I stopped off at the grocery store. As I got out of my car, I noticed a black sports car pull in just two spots away from me. Startled, I looked up in shock to find the same big guy getting out of his car. He started walking towards me, saying things like ? Hey baby, how’re ya doin? tonight? Wanna get some groceries with me?? I was scared…frozen to the spot…when I remembered the techniques I?d learned from the F.A.S.T Defense class the previous day. I got in my ?ready stance? and raised up my hands and said ?What do you want?? in my most forceful voice. The man was a little scared, but didn?t yet back off. ?What Do You Want?? I yelled again. This time, he started shrinking away a bit, but didn?t leave me alone. ?I just wanna talk to ya, honey,? he muttered. ?STOP!? I said. I stood up tall and straight, putting on my meanest face and said again ?I?m NOT interested-BACK OFF!? I was making so much noise that the man began backing up. At this time, I noticed a boy from the store, collecting the shopping carts. Seizing the opportunity, I began yelling and waving my arms to attract his attention. When he started coming over to see what all the fuss was about, the scary man quickly headed back to his car. Under the safety of the bewildered store employee, I jumped into my car and sped away into the night, thanking GOD for F.A.S.T Defense.

If I had not taken this class, I would not have known what to do in such a situation. Most likely, I would have cowered, frozen mute, and done nothing. Something terrible could have happened that night, but thanks to this class, I knew what to do, and escaped safe and sound.

Sarah D. age 18