About Us2018-08-31T12:47:01-06:00

Giving the Gift of Safety

We’ve all been there; in a situation that makes you feel just a little bit uneasy. Sometimes it’s walking to your front door at night — darkness can play some scary tricks on you. Other times it’s in bright daylight, when that stranger walking toward you gives you an unwarranted stare that throws your sense of comfort a little out of whack.

Well, “About Us” is really about you. It’s all about your education, safety and peace of mind; things that every young girl and woman should have and hold dearly. T.A.K.E. Defense Training provides girls and women of all ages with unique reality-based, hands-on self-defense training. Such training provides safety awareness that everyone needs and deserves.

Your T.A.K.E. training, an integral element in the comprehensive safety awareness program, will take place in a two-hour session held at various facilities. When you attend a class, you’ll receive priceless awareness education and practical application of the skills demonstrated and learned in the session. We will also cover internet safety, community safety, home safety, safe travel and much more. It’s our goal to give you the advantage if you’re ever in a situation that makes you question your safety.

So whether you’re in search of that advantage to feel in control of everyday situations, or you want to make sure a bad experience is never repeated, take part in T.A.K.E Defense Training. Power: You have it in you.

A Name That Says It All

The name Alexandra means helper of mankind or compassionate one. And Alexandra Kemp — Ali to everyone who knew her — was all of that and more. A stunning 19-year-old girl inside and out, Ali was murdered while working at a neighborhood pool in Johnson County, Kansas.

Ali is still living up to her name. Through the T.A.K.E. Defense Training program established in her memory, her story has inspired and encouraged women all over the country to take a stand. She has given them the power to stand up for themselves.

Ali truly was a shining star of her generation. Excelling as an honor student at both Blue Valley North High School and Kansas State University, she was involved in many other activities. Soccer, volleyball and basketball satisfied her thirst for athletic competition. Ali exemplified selflessness as a caring volunteer, giving her time and talents generously to her church, community and at Kansas State University, where she had just finished her freshman year as a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Most importantly, though, Ali made the most of a life taken far too soon. She excelled in life as an astonishing person, daughter, sister and friend to everyone she met. In a special testimony to her life, over 1,400 of Ali’s friends and family members came to her funeral. And she has touched, and will continue to touch, thousands of other women who have been impacted by her story and life. While she will always be missed, Ali will forever be a compassionate helper of mankind.

Our Reason for Being

A bright future. A heart to care and help. A smile to melt worry away. All of these were taken away from Roger and Kathy Kemp when their daughter, Ali, was murdered.

So what did they do to fight back? They created a program to forever carry on Ali’s legacy and ensure that what happened to her doesn’t happen to another. The program is called T.A.K.E. Defense, an acronym for The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation.

T.A.K.E. Defense was established in 2005 by the Kemp family in partnership with Johnson County Park and Recreation District and in cooperation with Blue Valley Recreation Commission and Leawood Park and Recreation. Over 67,000 girls and women ages 12 and older have been trained with free hands-on self-defense training. T.A.K.E. Defense carries its message and training across the United States each year to colleges and universities. Examples of universities include Kansas University, University of Missouri, Kansas State University, University of Miami, Vanderbilt University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, University of Wisconsin and more. T.A.K.E. Defense Training has been featured on America’s Most Wanted, ABC’s “20/20” and CBS Prime Time along with numerous local and regional news casts. Our goal is clear, as said by Mr. Kemp at each program, “If we can save one life out there, I don’t care what it costs; this whole program will be worth it.”

So join the thousands of women who have experienced T.A.K.E. Defense Training, and experience the empowerment of personal protection.

Meet the Foundation

Roger Kemp, Ali’s Father
Roger Kemp, Ali’s FatherPresident, The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation
Roger Kemp worked tirelessly to bring his daughter’s murderer to justice. During his struggle he created a billboard campaign, with the help of LAMAR Advertising, which focused on his daughter’s murderer with tremendous success. This prompted law enforcement agencies to use this same concept and now billboard usage has been adopted by law enforcement agencies locally and across the United States including the F.B.I. apprehending murderers by the hundreds. The Kemp’s founded The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation and fostered the creation of the T.A.K.E. Defense Program. For the last 16 years Mr. Kemp has focused his efforts building The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation and the T.A.K.E. Defense program, which has trained over 67,000 girls and women ranging from 12 to 90 years of age. Mr. Kemp is a past board member of the Ad Hoc Commission Against Crime, which focuses on the urban core of Kansas City. He is a past committee member of three (3) administrations of the Kansas Attorney General’s Office who reviewed and awarded grants to shelters and homes for victims of abuse. Mr. Kemp was nominated by the two U.S. Senators from Kansas for the Presidential Citizens Award. In a slate of over 6,000 nominees from across the United States he was one of only thirteen Americans chosen to receive the award and to be honored at the White House. The Presidential Citizen’s Medal is one of the highest civilian awards given by our President.

John Walsh; formally of America’s Most Wanted had this to say about the Kemp’s in his forward in the book “Ali Was Here” “Kathy and Roger didn’t let Ali’s killer claim another victim. They took their hurt and anger and turned it into something positive and helpful to others.”

Jill Leiker
Jill LeikerExecutive Director The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation
Jill Leiker holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Resource Management with an emphasis in Leadership Studies. She serves as the Executive Director for The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation’s and is the lead instructor for its critically acclaimed program T.A.K.E. Defense. Jill is also the Corporate and Community Wellness Manager for Johnson County Park and Recreation District, where in 2017 her department administered over 82,000 participants toward a healthier lifestyle. Jill began the study of martial arts in 1982, attained her black belt in 1986 and currently holds the rank of 9th degree Black Belt. Her interest in martial arts was sparked when she attended a community self-defense class. Over the years Jill has encouraged the study of self-protection through class instruction and seminar training; working to empower women with new skills and lifesaving knowledge. She believes simple but effective self-protection techniques can be taught to anyone. Jill was recognized by the Kansas City Sports Commission in 2018 with the WIN for KC’s Outstanding Woman award for her positive impact on girls and women. She, along with her husband Bob, wrote the curriculum for T.A.K.E. Defense, and through the program has personally instructed over 67,000 girls and women12 to 90 years of age.
Bob Leiker
Bob LeikerDirector of Curriculum T.A.K.E. Defense
Bob Leiker holds dual Master of Science Degrees in Public Administration and Guidance and Counseling. He served as a Governor’s Appointee to the Kansas Sentencing Commission for two terms and served as the Executive Director for Community Corrections for seventeen counties in Kansas. His responsibilities included supervision of probation and parole, allowing him a unique and firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior. Bob shares this knowledge and empowering information in an effort to save lives. He holds the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt and is a six time World Champion. Bob is considered a self-defense and tactical defensive expert. He has trained law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, SCAT and SWAT team members, future FBI agents, military personnel, hundreds of school safety programs and served as the “Official Martial Arts Instructor” for the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas University and numerous collegiate football programs. Bob and Jill Leiker wrote the self-defense curriculum for T.A.K.E. Defense and have personally trained each one of the over 67,000 girls and women who have taken the course.

Something to Strive For

We have different missions for different aspects of our organization. But they’re all for the same reason: Ali. Read on to see what we stand for.

T.A.K.E.
Foundation Mission

The mission of The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation is:
to ensure that the values and spirit Ali stood for live on and increase safety awareness in young girls and women.

T.A.K.E. Defense
Training Mission

To provide high-quality, appropriate, reality-based self-defense training to girls and women at low or no cost.

T.A.K.E. Defense
Training Vision Statement

T.A.K.E. Defense Training will be known as one of the nation’s premier programs that provides safety education and hands on sills for girls and women to equip them with personal self-defense skills and to make this training available to all who desire regardless of physical or financial limitations.