Strikeforce Women’s 135-pound sensation Miesha “Takedown” Tate and four-time world champ and MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock began filming a rape prevention DVD on Friday, May 28 in Los Angeles.
Tate and Shamrock hope to educate women that MMA can be an effective way to defend themselves against a larger, stronger attacker.
The DVD will feature defensive instructions from the MMA stars as well as feature interviews with three high-profile rape victims, who will recount their horrific experiences in order to educate potential victims.
Why have you undertaken this project?
MIESHA TATE: “I think more women need to be aware of the dangers that can happen to them, as well as anybody else. Hopefully, we can help at least one person, if not many.”
SHAMROCK: “Getting involved in this was the right thing to do. I believe in Miesha Tate and her family’s vision of empowering women. Miesha is a beautiful and strong woman who’s taking control of her life and has a dream, she just happens to be fighting. At the same time that dream can empower and inspire people.
"The fact that she’s fighting and using these techniques to not only to defend herself but to make a career for herself, it just seems organic that she should be sharing it with as many people as possible. That’s been my vision with Mixed Martial Arts—it’s here to help. So, I’m just able to be around to help out.”
What are you hoping to accomplish with this DVD?
TATE: “I’d like to raise women’s awareness with this DVD. I want to make them feel confident in the ability that they have to protect themselves.”
SHAMROCK: “I hope we give some power back to women. I think women have given their power away for whatever reason, and I think they don’t know how powerful they are. It takes a girl like Miesha to make them think, ‘Wow, I didn’t know we could do stuff like that.’ Women need to see somebody doing it so they know that they can, because, the truth is, they all can do it. They have all this power and we just want them to know that.”
How useful do you think MMA is for women as a means of self-defense against sexual assault?
TATE: “MMA can be a huge tool for women to defend themselves against an attacker. I don’t think enough women realize the benefits that you can reap from training in MMA, especially the Jiu-Jitsu aspect of it. There’s a lot of leverage, and Jiu-Jitsu is designed for the smaller, weaker, meeker people, so it works well for women in self defense.”
SHAMROCK: “I would say that MMA is the most highly evolved form of hand-to-hand combat. It has the most tried and tested moves of how to defend and handle yourself in hand-to-hand combat, especially against a larger opponent.”
How can women enhance their understanding of MMA techniques by watching STRIKEFORCE MMA competition between athletes skilled in a variety of combat disciplines?
TATE: “It takes time, practice, watching, and learning. You can only learn so much from watching an MMA fight; I think it’s really more of a hands-on thing. But, it never hurts. I learn a lot when I watch fights.
SHAMROCK: “Absolutely, watching a fight can help you out 100 percent. Whatever your mind sees, it believes, and part of you believing in this technique and understanding it is seeing it happen.
"I definitely think that you can not only learn from watching fighting, but you can also reinforce the things that you have learned by seeing people use it in practical application. When you see a girl like this, like Miesha, it’s like, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ And you really can, if you want to.”
In the instructional component of the video, Shamrock acts as an attacker while Tate demonstrates self defense techniques for a variety of scenarios.
The production is part of Tate’s Take Down Enterprises, which endeavors to educate society on the history of MMA and why it’s the fastest growing sport in the world.
The DVD is scheduled for release later this year.
Photo Credit: Carlos Baeza