A Cary martial arts studio is arming women with the tools to protect themselves.
The owner of White Tiger Martial Taekwondo and Martial Arts, Grand Master Rondy McKee, said the women who take her class walk away with more than a new set of skills.
“I think you have to feel like you’re worth defending,” McKee said.
McKee opened White Tiger in 1996.
Her martial arts career began 30 years ago after she was mugged on the way home from work. She said she went to the police with a broken arm and asked how to buy a gun or pepper spray.
“They said you need to think more. You need to get something that no one could ever take away from you,” McKee said.
So she began taking martial arts, and has since traveled the globe teaching.
“I really stress that I think every woman should learn some sort of self defense,” McKee said.
She started the “Lady Tigers” years ago with moms in mind.
“It’s empowering. I think that’s the right word. It’s empowering,” said mother Heidi Rerecich
Soon, McKee said she had other business women and survivors of domestic violence signing up.
“They are arming themselves to make themselves feel more comfortable; to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but if it did, to make sure they aren’t powerless,” she said
The idea behind the class is to teach women how to protect themselves using everyday items like a cellphone, water bottle, magazine or a pen. For a trained Lady Tiger, the item becomes a weapon, but if taken from them, it is useless to their attacker.
“For my first degree black belt, I used a shopping bag. A grocery bag, I dumped the groceries on the floor, and it became a weapon,” Rerecich said.
McKee said it’s not just about the physical skills the women learn. The confidence they walk away with also makes them stronger.
“Just the fact that they know they can do something about it, they are no longer that easy target,” McKee said.