Christina Weltmer fondly remembers her days of watching mixed martial arts with her father at a young age.
Although she didn’t enroll in MMA classes at Morey Courts, 5175 E. Remus Road, for the specific purpose of learning self-defense, it has been a nice side-effect for the Port Huron senior.
Weltmer has participated in the classes since fall 2010 with her friend Plymouth senior Codi Surowiec.
“I’ve been watching MMA since I was a little kid and always wanted to try it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun,” Weltmer said.
Surowiec is the assistant instructor for the class.
“I think it’s really important for women to know (martial arts), women will never out-power men, but they can learn the technicality to win,” Surowiec said.
Surowiec has been involved in MMA since she was 12 years old. She said learning the techniques helped her in high school.
She was bullied in high school, but said the harassment stopped once she began learning the arts.
Surowiec said she only had to use what she learned once in high school after a boy shoved her against a locker.
“There were no teachers in the hallway, so I did a back kick to the floating rib and he backed off,” she said.
Surowiec said she wants to continue to teach women martial arts wherever she goes in life. Making someone come out and become confident is priceless, she said.
Weltmer said the best thing about the class is the people and stress relief.
“It’s always fun, even if your day sucks,” Weltmer said. “You get to be aggressive as a girl and it’s nice to get that out in a nice legal environment.”
Weltmer, who has never been in a fight, said the class is a stress-reliever for her. She said it also made her aware of how to use her strength.
Head instructor Daniel Lenhart said the most important part of martial arts is the level of respect people learn rather than losing control — it teaches them to calm down and evaluate each situation.
Lenhart also said it is important for women to learn so they can defend themselves from domestic abuse and sexual assaults.
“I’ve had 75 people pass through and we try to be as welcoming as possible, but some people don’t have the heart to continue,” he said.
About 12 to 15 people show up to the classes and the ages range from 12 to the late 30s.
The class is held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Morey Courts. The class costs $2.50 per session and students are free to show up and sign up at the front desk.
“You can unleash your aggressive side and learn some self defense,” Weltmer said.