published Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Small Biz: Chattanooga business focuses on women’s safety

Richard Temmerman is the owner of Women's Empowerment and Self Defense Chattanooga.
Richard Temmerman is the owner of Women's Empowerment and Self Defense Chattanooga.
Photo by Shawn Paik /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• Name: Women’s Empowerment and Self Defense Chattanooga

• Owner: Richard Temmerman

• Location: 7315 Lee Highway, Suite 173, Chattanooga

• Opens: Thursday

• Service: Temmerman offers a range of self-defense courses and training for women. His nonfighting classes focus on prevention and steps a woman can take to help avoid being targeted by a predator. He teaches women how to be aware of their environment and take initiative in potentially dangerous situations. His fighting classes teach students how to defend themselves with punches, grabs and various street fighting techniques. Classes are female-only.

• Prices: $75 for two nonfighting sessions; $40 for two fighting classes; $75 for four fighting classes. Each session is one hour.

• Staff: One

• Initial investment: $20,000

• How it got started: Temmerman has been teaching martial arts and self defense for 25 years. After running two schools in Illinois, he and his wife moved to Chattanooga to retire. Temmerman was working as an armed guard just to “stay busy,” but he has a passion for teaching women how to stay safe and defend themselves, and he couldn’t stand to be out of the teaching business for long, he said.

• Quick tip: “If a guy walked up with a gun or a knife and said, ‘Get in the car,’ you’re probably going to get in the car, right? Don’t do that. Scream, kick, get attention — don’t get into the car. If you don’t get in, you have a high percentage of nothing happening to you. If you get into the car, you’re done.”

• Web site:

• Phone number: 423-315-0418

— Compiled by Shelly Bradbury, who may be reached at 757-6525.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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