INNER WARRIOR PROJECT
This month we had the privilege of interviewing the three badass rebels behind the Inner Warrior Project, an empowerment program that uses Martial Arts as a vehicle to educate and encourage girls and women to express themselves assertively and confidently, but also to protect themselves in the face of danger. Founded by multi-level black belt trainers Randee Brookins, Karina Muñoz Benalcazar, and Lindsay De Aguila, the project launched in early 2018 in unison with the #metoo Movement, which they described as an ideal climate to start engaging in conversations about effective communication, boundary setting, and how to use Martial Arts techniques to feel stronger and safer in the world.
“Self defense starts with voicing your boundaries. You have to value yourself to want to defend yourself,” Co-Founders. Karina Benalcazar & Lindsay De Aguila
Modeling Empowerment and Compassion.
The message behind the Inner Warrior Project is simple: “To empower humanity to take care of themselves and take care of others,” which is a mission we at Her Rebel Soul can certainly get behind. The Inner Warrior Project uses a 4 step empowerment program to teach women and girls ages 14 to 34 how to unleash their Inner Warrior: Inner Potential Discovery, Assertive & Boundary Awareness, Basic Self Defense Skills and Advanced Self Defense Skills.
Unlearning gender constructs.
We were thrilled to have one of our team members, Carly Otness, join the Inner Warrior Project for an afternoon seminar at Santa Barbara City College where she participated in some exercises in asserting herself both verbally and physically. Her biggest take away from that experience was the personal realization that culturally, we as women are taught to be passive even in situations that pose a potential threat, “This really made me reflect on my own life and struggles asserting myself in uncomfortable situations ranging from asking for a long overdue raise to dealing with particularly aggressive men.”
The physical practice of asserting ourselves can almost feel unnatural and strangely uncomfortable, which is something the Inner Warrior Project is helping women unlearn.
We would like to thank the women of the Inner Warrior Project for taking the time to share their badassery with us at Her Rebel Soul! The work they are doing is so important and hopefully helping us all move closer to a world where the #metoo Movement can be a sad reality from the past instead of a part of the current social climate. Keep on kicking ass, ladies!
For more information about The Inner Warrior Project, please visit https://www.innerwarriorproject.com/
The Warriors Behind the Movement
*Bios taken from https://www.innerwarriorproject.com/meet-the-creators/
Karina Muñoz Benalcazar:
Self-Empowerment Mentor. Martial Artist. Fitness Instructor. Dancer at Heart. Funnest Host & Bartender Extraordinaire. Feng Shui Connoisseur.
Karina fully embraced her next chapters in life and grew into a Dynamic Circle Hapkido Instructor at Martial Arts Family Fitness in Santa Barbara and for over 8 years now, her knowledge has been passed on teaching a range of students from 3 years old to 68 years old. Her fondness and love for people and working through their struggles and accomplishments has inspired her to take her teaching to a higher level. By becoming part owner for the Inner Warrior Project, she has been able to take more of an active role by being a Self-Development Mentor in the lives of young women and men. Being an immigrant from Peru, Karina never forgets her roots and prides herself in being an inspirational role model for Hispanic women. She has a desire to empower all, with a special interest in youth and minorities, to become leaders and “warriors” in their community.
Lindsay De Aguila
Self-Empowerment Mentor. Yoga Instructor. Martial Artist. Unapologetic Brunch Addict. Health Food Guru. International Travel Junkie. Salsa Dancing Aficionado.
Lindsay is a Black Belt in Hapkido, a Yoga Instructor and is a National Gymnastics Champion and a Martial Arts Champion in Self Defense. In her earlier years, when she wasn’t training for tournaments or teaching youth gymnastics and Martial Arts, she was finding time to study at Quinnipiac University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Marketing. After graduation, Lindsay spent the following years pursuing her career as an Associate Producer for the Home Shopping Network and a Marketing Tour Manager for GMR, one of the world’s largest experiential firms. However, despite her success, something was still missing and through her love of world travel and meeting inspiring people, she followed her roots and rediscovered her burning passion for health arts and sciences. When she recognized that health and well being never left her heart, she wanted to refocus and dedicate her life to helping individuals on their voyage to self-discovery.
Making her way down the Pacific Coast Highway on two hammock worthy trees at a time, Lindsay found herself in Santa Barbara, CA to continue her Martial Arts education at Martial Arts Family Fitness, to reconnect with friends who share a similar passion and where The Inner Warrior Project was born. By becoming part owner and a Self Empowerment Mentor for IWP, this has allowed her to express her enthusiasm and engage in helping people find and fuel their passions. She measures happiness and success by the ability to empower others to look inside, share their passions, and become their own “warrior” in this journey called life.
Self-Empowerment Mentor. Martial Artist. Fitness Instructor. Archer. Scuba Diver. Motorcycle Rider. Sour Cream Addict. Life Lover.
Randee is a Second Degree Black Belt in Dynamic Circle Hapkido and a certified group fitness instructor at Martial Arts Family Fitness in Santa Barbara. She is a co-author in a book called “Black Belt Power”. After growing and learning health for the body, she is most fascinated with health for the soul. She believes that it doesn’t matter how healthy you are on the outside, health on the inside is key. She appreciates the tough times in life so she can utilize that as an opportunity to grow and learn more about herself. She focuses on redirecting those feelings into surrounding herself with positive influences. Randee created an atmosphere of health and well being by starting a Wellness Coaching business with her husband. Although for Randee, this was fueling more her entrepreneur side, she wanted to fuel her passion and purpose side with the creation of the Inner Warrior Project. She is now part owner of the Inner Warrior Project, a Self Defense Instructor and a Self Empowerment Mentor. It is her mission to empower others to love themselves, so they may continue to love others.
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