Article Written June 16, 2021 By BETH KORNEGAY
SOURCE: Leavenworth Times
When Basehor City Clerk Kathy Renn attended a self-defense class with her daughter earlier this year, she knew that she wanted to bring that same class to the residents of Basehor. After getting buy-in from City Administrator Leslee Rivarola and Basehor Chief of Police Bob Pierce, she visited with USD 458 Superintendent David Howard about utilizing Basehor-Linwood High School for the event.
Named after Ali Kemp, a Johnson County teenager who was murdered while working at a neighborhood pool in June 2002, the T.A.K.E. Defense Training Program was started in her memory. Established in 2005 by the Kemp family in partnership with Johnson County Park and Recreation Department, more than 67,000 women and girls 12 and older have been trained with the hands-on self-defense training class curriculum.
Roger Kemp, Ali’s father and president of the Ali Kemp Educational Foundation, has worked to ensure his daughter’s murder would be brought to justice. For the past 16 years, he has focused his energies into building the foundation as well as the T.A.K.E. Defense Training Program.
“If we can save one life out there – I don’t care what it costs – this whole program will be worth it,” Kemp said.
Recognizing that everyone has been in a situation that makes them feel a bit uneasy, from walking to the front door at night to loading groceries in a car in a crowded parking lot in the middle of the day, sometimes the little inner voice lets women know that something isn’t quite right. This self-defense program helps provide safety awareness combined with reality-based self-defense techniques and training. Attendees will also learn about staying safe while on the internet, traversing the community, being at home and while traveling.
Renn said that she hopes that the class can become an annual or semi-annual event in Basehor.
“Unfortunately, no one is 100% safe no matter where you live,” she said. “Everyone has the right to feel safe so why not provide those tools to the girls and women in our community? This way they walk away from the event stronger and more empowered with some simple self-defense tools.”
Training will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Basehor- Linwood High School gymnasium, located at 2108 N. 155th St. Advance registration is requested at www.TakeDefense.org
A $12 donation is requested, but not required.
Those donations allow the organization to continue its work helping women feel safe by offering additional classes around the state.