Classes teach self-defense

Sarah Ward, a 22-year-old NKU student with a third degree black belt will share her skills by teaching women’s self-defense class on campus starting February 12.

Ward began taking karate lessons with her mother when she was 12 years old. She opened her first karate school in Lexington when she was 15 and opened two more by age 17.

She moved to Northern Kentucky and now teaches at Ichiban Martial Arts in Clifton.

Ward was attacked twice in high school, both times by men she knew.

“You start to become more aware and do not want to be touched anymore,” she said. “It is such a horrible experience and I want to help prevent this from happening to other people.” The experience influenced Ward to use her karate skills and help other women be prepared to face situations where men threaten them.

She personally designed the class for women and wants them to be able to walk out of the class that day and be able to defend themselves.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, almost 70 percent of sexual assault victims know their attacker. In 77 percent of all cases, the attacker used only a personal weapon (such as their hands, feet or fists).

The classes do not require too much strength or effort, Ward said. They train women to build confidence, feel safe and be prepared to fight at any time, even when wearing high-heeled shoes and a skirt.

The classes are from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesdays, in room 220 of the Fine Arts building.

Sarah Ward can be contacted to reserve spots at or