Today we begin a multi-part series highlighting IMPACT chapter directors.
Meet Carol Middleton, founder of DC IMPACT, founding member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation and owner of two martial arts schools: Krav Maga DC, and DC Self Defense Karate Association.
What is the most important goal(s) for your chapter in 2015? To nail down our new Basics Modules as an alternative to the 5-weeks Basics program we have usually done. The five modules will allow almost anyone to take Basics, even if they travel a lot or have a heavy schedule that cannot accommodate 5 weekly classes in a row.
Did you have a memorable “ah ha” moment as a student? If so, what was it? Not a single moment, but it gradually dawned on me how effective it was to do unpredictable full-force scenarios rather than just specific defenses to specific attacks…with a partner…and with virtually no verbal assault component. I finally felt confident that I could face this situation in real life. And I was especially happy that I would soon be teaching IMPACT and helping others to get that same sense of being prepared.
When did you first know that you would work for or volunteer for IMPACT? I first heard of a precursor to IMPACT in 1972 and wanted to do it then, but had to wait until I had the time and money, which was in 1988. I was already teaching martial arts and self-defense, thought this would work even better for teaching short-term self-defense, so I was definitely committed to it from the start.
Best verbal response from a student in a scenario (i.e., your favorite student quote…). I’m sure there have been a thousand, but I cannot remember any exact words. What I am always impressed with is how quick students can come up with something incredibly creative in the moment—even students who were sure they would be stuck and speechless under duress.
What programs or communities are next for D.C. IMPACT? Advocating for someone else (bystander intervention). It would be great to do school-based programs as we expand our teaching capacity.
If you had a nickel for every time someone said to you – I love working with this staff! – you’d be rich.
At the recent VMA awards, Beyonce performed with a huge sign behind her that said FEMINIST. What would be on your sign if you had that kind of giant billboard to send a message? It would probably just be “TEACHER.” Teaching is my passion, and teaching in general is undervalued and somewhat under siege right now, so I would want to support other teachers by drawing attention to the profession.
Which actor would play you in a movie about your life? Which actors would you want to play opposite you as the rest of your teaching team? Well, if I can choose anyone, I would choose Meryl Streep since she can play anyone well, and then she can use me as her stunt double! I’d pick Dwayne Johnson for the role of suited instructor.
If you weren’t working as an IMPACT director/instructor/board member, what would your dream job be? I’m in my dream job, teaching martial arts and self-defense to children and adults.
More about Carol:
Carol Middleton, 7th degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, has focused on women’s self-defense since she began martial arts in 1968. Her first school opened in Wisconsin in 1971, followed by D.C. Self Defense Karate Association in 1976, DC IMPACT Self-Defense in 1989, and Krav Maga DC (Israeli defensive tactics) in 2001. She is also a tactical master in CDT (low force compliance and control techniques) and Last Resort Tactics and is a certified Kidpower instructor.
Carol has taught nationally and internationally, including workshops in England and Austria, conducting the first training of self-defense instructors across the former Soviet Union in 1993, and training an instructor team in Kenya in 2009. Carol has been on dozens of radio and television programs including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Maury Povich and Diane Rehm.
Her programs offer various forms and levels of self-defense, including custom courses for businesses and groups, private and semi-private lessons, and advanced programs on weapons defense and multiple assailant defense. Most programs are held at her schools and she also can do courses on-site.
Next week – Top 3 ways to ruin a good story about a self-defense class for trauma survivors.
Please join us each week and invite others to do so as well!