"After being away from the Institute of Self Defense for many years due to re -locating to another state, I recently had the opportunity to re visit. As I walked through the door, all I could think of was that I miss having a safe place to go. The reason I say 'safe' is because it is a place where I always feel accepted, loved, and appreciated, not just by others, but most importantly, me.

Training at ISD allowed me to explore myself to find out who I truly am, while knowing that whatever I discovered, I would still be accepted. No matter how stressful life became, walking into the school each day was like a breath of fresh air.

ISD is a place of simplicity and complexity. The rhythmic sound of instructions and the knowledge of knowing what was expected of me was reassuring: try your utmost best and know that you will never be compared to anyone else but yourself. I had my own expectations and they were usually higher than what others expected of me. Over time, I was able to see myself clearly. Training became a mirror - a reflection of me - and who I am really, not what others and society told me I was, and this has made all of the difference in my life to this day.”

Michelle Banning

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