It is my extreme pleasure to introduce to you my advocacies and projects in Self Defense and Promoting Healthy Lifestyle within the community. I launched UDEFEND Project last October 2017 it is a self-defense training program that aims to educate and empower and equip women and children.
My goal is to improve the quality and safety of our communities by providing practical and accessible self-defense training with martial arts values to the venerable sectors of society. According to a United Nations report in 2006, “women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.”
I developed and designed UDEFEND Self Defense program it integrates the forms of Wushu, Tai Chi and other Chinese Martial Arts into a complete and individual system. It is a flexible and dynamic system suitable for women and children as well as the elderly. The lessons include defense against armed and unarmed attackers, and single and multiple attackers as well as martial arts theories.
I’ve been in the martial arts for years. I am an International Wushu Champion, Nationally, 10x Gold Medalist, I am a Seagames Medalist. I am also a Commercial Model and Actress in the Philippines. I’ve been contemplating of sharing the practical purposes of martial arts to more people including women and children. What I do want is to teach the basics of self defense. You see, it breaks my heart whenever I read in the news that a woman or child was violated. It pains me so as my way of giving back to society I decided to start this project.That was when my advocacy UDEFEND Project was born.
I called on my friends and asked if they are willing to volunteer. My heart immediately leaped as I saw the outpouring of support for this project. We identified potential beneficiaries - public schools. For our initial salvo, we chose the Payatas B Annex Elementary School in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City. Payatas was one of the most populated barangays in the country as per the 2015 Census of Population. It is also one of the poorest neighborhoods in MetroManila. For the families of these kids, martial arts training could be the least of their priorities. Let’s face it, martial arts training in private facilities are very expensive. Parents had to shell a substantial part of their budget to cover the training fees and uniforms of their kids.
With UDEFEND Project my goal is to make Self Defense Training within the reach of even the most indigent children. As I couldn’t reach them one by one, person to person, the most practical solution was to coordinate with public schools. So On October 5, 2017, my team was graciously welcomed by Dr. Lilian Gundao, the principal of Payatas B Annex Elementary School, and her co-teachers as we launched UDEFEND Project.
Most of these kids were in the elementary level. Together with my volunteer facilitators, we thought them the basics of punching, kicking, and parrying. Please note that I had also emphasized discipline and healthy living in the lessons. I did not want them to start a fight or bully someone because of their new skills.
I am very grateful to all the people that supported our launched. Friends and fans from all over donated cash for the purchase of some belts and mitts. One thing I admired with these kids was their energy and eagerness to learn. For five hours, I never noticed a decline in their energy level. They always follow our instructions. As this was part of my personal advocacy, no fees were collected from the participants. The smiles of the children were enough compensation.
A month after, my team conducted uDefend exclusively to women participants from the San Lorenzo Village in Makati City. As this group was composed of middle-aged and elderly women, the lessons were more on fluid Tai Ji exercises and defense techniques.
In order to meet our mission and provide services in our community, we rely on the generosity of individuals. We are in need of support to purchase more “belt” and “mitts and pads” necessary for the Self Defense Training for the underprivileged children and women in the society.
This year our goal is to raise at least 5,000 belts to be able to train 5,000 children and women. Each belt cost Php 250, and we hope that you will be able to make a contribution. Your generosity will make a difference in our community by allowing us to continue in our work.