With a new group of freshmen about to head off to college, Nancy Stockwell has added self defense classes for college-bound women to her offerings.
Stockwell offers the popular, common-sense based classes at the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center and elsewhere for women and girls of all ages.
She lives on her family’s 150-year-old farm in rural Walcott and is a certified instructor who leads classes for girls, ages 9-12, ages 13-15, and, now, for college-bound women.
Stockwell initially became interested in concealed-carry handguns as a method of self defense, but discovered that other women were not as comfortable with guns. “I figured there had to be a middle ground between carrying a hand gun and martial arts. I wanted to find out simple things women could do to defend themselves.”
In the beginning, Stockwell started with the parks and recreation department in Cedar Rapids, before pitching the program to Nathan Pittman at the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center.
Pittman, the center’s recreation director, said he’s always looking for new programming and welcomed the inquiry.
Stockwell developed the classes, first by doing online research. She also found a class similar to what she envisioned in suburban Chicago.
“I wanted common-sense defense methods,” she said. “How do women stay safe in the first place?”
Stockwell has taught techniques to females from 8 to 67 years old. These days, she works with Josh Howat at Big Five Power Conditioning, Davenport. Howat offers advice on techniques, and helps her deal with various issues that come up in Stockwell’s classes.
Howat sees self-defense as a logical step in personal safety.
“Self-defense is like using a fire extinguisher correctly, compared to being a fireman,” he said. There’s no need for everyone to be a fireman but all people should know basic fire safety.
Each class Stockwell teaches is…