Tanya Panizzo is committed to bringing safety training to as many women and children as possible. Her journey in self defense and safety instruction began after many years of martial arts instruction. She currently holds a rank of 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has also earned a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After her daughter was born, Tanya resigned as an Automotive Engineer to focus on safety education full time. Fighting Spirit Safety was born to remove the stigma many women had about learning self defense through traditional means such as long term and committed martial arts classes, and to address the key component in all safety training which is practice under stress. The martial arts taught Tanya valuable fight skills, improved her confidence and esteem and gave her the defensive mindset that is the foundation of Fighting Spirit today. Among the qualifications mentioned above Tanya is also a certified radKIDS instructor, a certified RAD Women’s instructor, creator of the Girls-r-Pearls Teenage Safety Workshop and contributor to the University of Michigan 10 Point Promise to Sexual Assault Survivors which is distributed on their campus. Tanya’s goal for Fighting Spirit is to remain a leader in the education and prevention of abuse among women and children. The drive behind her is to envision and eventually live in a world without violence against women and children: one woman at a time- one child at a time.
‘My World’ is a campaign, a systematic course of action, to begin dialogue among all people, men and women alike, about the subject of abuse and safety. It is also a concept that will have different meanings to each person and whose purpose is to inspire and ignite change. My World, and yours, is what you value more than anything else on Earth. To a single female it could be them, their own person. To another female it could be their children. To a man it could be his spouse and children. It is everything that you hold dear and know you want to protect. Part of that protection is the recognition that this course of action cannot be done alone. The episodes above in the My World campaign are meant to get people thinking, talking and then ACTING, about how to create a safer world for themselves and who or what they hold dear.
The Purple Key Moment is a moment where a person recognizes, whether it real or perceived, that they are unsafe, unprotected, disrespected or exploited but KNOW WHAT TO DO. This “moment” may or may not occur during the event or time period that he or she is in danger or feeling this way. It can come at any time in their life. The goal of Fighting Spirit is to provide knowledge and skills through programs that incorporate practice under stress. It is also a goal to help cultivate the defensive mindset and strong spirit that is needed to fight for life. Lastly we aim to address the psychological side of abuse to help those cope and heal through resources in their community. The primary objective is to shorten the gap between the abuse (or fear of it) and the Purple Key Moment (recognition) so violence or the impact of it is minimized.
The Purple Key
The Purple Key is a physical reminder to those that take programs through Fighting Spirit Personal Safety. It is indeed a purple key given to each student to keep close at all times. It is a safety check for yourself and tells you that you are capable and have OPTIONS when you feel unsafe or abused. It also serves as a reminder that you can find help if ever you or your loved ones are in need. Looking at this key can tell you ” I know how to help you. I know where to go.” It can also help by telling you “I don’t feel good about this situation I’m going to leave.” Those that carry the purple key do so with pride. It is a talisman that keeps them connected to their personal safety without fear. Contact Fighting Spirit to learn more about how to get your own purple key or click the link above to read the moving Purple Key Moments of others.