Local couple trains students in self-defense

By Grace Smith | Broadcast Reporter

As Baylor students begin class registration for the Fall 2019, they have the chance to knock out a lifetime fitness requirement by enrolling in Beginning Self-Defense (LF 1163) with Lance and Melinda Yager.

Skilled with over 25 years of training combined, the Yager’s have said they have already reached their five-year goal of 300 students by training more than 120 Baylor students and 170 community members at their three-year-old academy.

Hutto sophomore Kendall Shepherd said she feels more aware in situations and that she can defend herself after having enrolled in their class.

“They make me feel like I am stronger than I actually am, so it has given me more confidence whenever I might be in a scary situation,” Shepherd said. “I feel like I definitely have the upper hand knowing everything I have been taught so far.”

Lance Yager said he and his wife’s love for Jiu Jitsu translates into wanting people to be confident, not just in self-defense, but in every aspect of life.

“Everyday I am trying to be a better version of myself, that’s what it means to practice the martial arts,” Lance Yager said. “I’ve realized how much growth I’ve come in to, I want to share that. I want people to realize that it is inside them, all they have to do is work hard at it.”

Melinda Yager echoed her husband, and also said she wants to bring Jiu Jitsu awareness to women so they can feel empowered in any situation. As for everyday defense, the Yager’s said to take a buddy everywhere, as well as to maintain eye contact and general awareness.

The Yager’s self-defense school is called Select Jiu Jistu Academy and is located at 3114 Franklin Ave, and student’s ages range from five-years-old to 64-years-old.

Students can register for the Yager’s lifetime fitness class through BearWeb, and anyone in the Waco community can sign up for one of the Yager’s daily classes.