Herron (in the red shirt) takes her self-defense class.
Herron (in the red shirt) takes her self-defense class. Courtesy RealSelf

A few weeks ago, jogger Kelly Herron was attacked in a bathroom at Golden Gardens Park while training for a marathon. She managed to fight off her attacker while uttering the (now internet-famous) battle-cry phrase “Not today, motherfucker!”

Herron was able to resist her attacker because she had just completed a self-defense class for women offered by the company she works for, RealSelf, a health and wellness start-up that provides information to those seeking cosmetic or health treatments. The self-defense class was given by community dojo Fighting Chance Seattle. Now, in response to the incident, the start-up is hosting the same self-defense class. It's free and open to the public.

“We were so inspired by Kelly sharing her story in an effort to educate other women,” says Jennifer Moses, Director of Public Relations at RealSelf, “that we wanted to partner with Fighting Chance Seattle to offer the class to the public, and extend the skills that saved her to as many other women as possible.”

My biggest running nightmare became reality- 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall (that is my GPS in red lines). I fought for my life screaming("Not today, M**F**er!"), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #dontbeavictim #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr

A post shared by Kelly Herron (@run_kiwi_run) on

Fighting Chance Seattle, a kickboxing and karate school based in Ballard, takes “a feminist approach to everything we do,” says head instructor Jordan Giarratano. Jordan says that many self defense classes "are too reliant on traditional karate." So Giarratano developed a method that still addresses the “toxic masculinity, rape culture problem side with the practical nuts and bolts of how-to-fight-back-safely side” of feminist self defense.

Giarratano says the class will focus on how to access and trust one’s intuition, move through panic and anxiety, and come away feeling empowered and reconnected to your body.

“Basically everything in our culture says go outside of yourself,” Giarratano explains. “This program teaches you that you're born with everything you need to survive. You have self-defense superpowers inside of you.”

Kelly Herron certainly discovered her inner self-defense superpowers during her attack. Herron also found herself in defense mode after an organization called Just Want Privacy used her Instagram photo and story to fundraise for their proposed anti-trans measure I-1552, which repeals protections for trans students at public schools and forces them to use bathrooms based on their “gender assigned at birth.”

Herron responded by demanding that Just Want Privacy issue an apology.

"I strongly oppose their efforts to repeal Washington State’s decade-old protections against discrimination for our transgender friends, family and co-workers," Heron said.

The free self-defense class is planned for March 28. Register here.