A.P.R.I.L – “Fight For What You Believe In,” says Shen Walker
Shen Walker is called ‘The Breaker’ in the Martial Art’s world and wants people to fight for what they believe in! She is a true hero in the eyes of many and raises money for Living Hope International Orphanage, one of the few non-profit Christian organizations in China. Shen, once an orphan herself, was adopted from China when she was just 12 months old.
Shen longed to go back to China to check on the children at the orphanage. At 12 years old, Shen went to visit Living Hope with her family only to discover the children were living in poor conditions; sleeping on wooden planks and having barely any food to survive. Heartbroken, she decided to raise money by holding charity dinners, and church concerts. Shen successfully raised enough money and donated towards the orphan’s education, bedding, and even for an orphan that needed heart surgery. To this day, Shen travels back to China, greeted with thank you letters and hugs from her first family.
Shen is now an instructor with her second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She has been training for over 14 years and has been inducted into the Karate Union and the Masters Hall of Fame, for her hard work and dedication in the martial arts field. Her nickname, ‘The Breaker,’ was coined when she began to break solid boards in half. She is a fighter; surviving bullying as a teenager and assault as an adult.
Shen Walker awarded Masters Hall of Fame Award (2016)
“An Allied Health teacher bullied me so much that I wanted to take my own life. She told me I would never amount to anything. So then my parents decided to take me out of school and homeschool me. It was during this time as a teenager, that I wanted to compete in sports, but found no interest. Instead, I turned to Martial Arts, gaining discipline, by learning several martial art forms and self-defense techniques.”
Shen says it’s important for young girls and women to learn how to defend themselves by using Martial Arts techniques — especially young women going off to college and walking alone. “I was assaulted twice in my life and could have died if I didn’t know how to defend myself with Martial Arts.” Shen was held at knifepoint by one of her attackers, and luckily able to defend herself using her techniques, by dislocating the man’s arm.
“Anyone can be trained in self-defense,” says Shen and recommends the Korean Martial Art Hapkido, which is the form of self-defense that uses throwing techniques, striking attacks, joint locks and grapples with the use of Hapkido Self Defense close and long range fighting techniques. Another Martial Art form she prefers to teach her students is Jiu-jitsu – a Japanese ground defense used against take-downs for defeating armed attackers in close range, with the use of weaponry for self-defense.
In her classes, Shen teaches her students both young and old elbow strikes, knee kicks and basic punches. She believes anyone and any age can learn Martial Arts. “The boys in my class look up to me and think it’s cool a girl has her Blackbelt. Even the adult women look up to me; I have a 64-year old student receiving a Blackbelt in August and I am so proud of her!”
“If you are in a relationship and things turn ugly, you should be able to stand up against your attacker. Defending yourself against a loved one that betrays you is much harder than fighting a complete stranger.”
Shen wants to help guide other people dealing with similar struggles by teaching them to fight for what they want out of life. She hopes to spread awareness about Living Hope International Orphanage and continue to help the many children in need.
Our organization A.P.R.I.L sat down with Shen and got to know more about this empowering woman.
What are your thoughts on the movement? A.P.R.I.L – is a global movement to empower women around the world, to stand up against adversity, for All Power Resides In Love.
“I believe in the movement A.P.R.I.L and want to empower women and people around the world by teaching self-defense. Women’s self-defense is very important and every person should know how to defend themselves if anything were to happen and to know how to fight back with confidence!”
How can people relate to you?
“People can relate to me because I have gone through some hard times in my life. My brother passed away in 2015 in a plane crash and he was only 32 years old. I try and stay strong for him every day by fighting for him and his memory. If you ever lost someone, I know your pain.”
Are you a leader?
“I definitely consider myself as a leader because through my Martial Arts teaching techniques, people learn self-esteem and how to express themselves, which helps them succeed and take control of their lives. The techniques also build self-confidence by encouraging them that they don’t have to be afraid to be themselves.”
Are you a superhero?
“Some people say that I am because I help the children at the orphanage. They say I am the children’s superhero because I change their lives for the better.”
Are woman sexualized in the media?
“Yes, I believe that women are sexualized in media when they dress provocatively. Women should show off their beauty in a different way and I guess that is their decision how they dress, just not something I would do. I can be the center of attention without looking like I have hardly anything on – beauty comes from within.”
“A while back, I was once an Equipment Operating Supervisor where I operated all the big equipment; it was dangerous, but a cool job.”
“I really like Chinese Noodles and Mexican Tacos.”
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
“I love to shoot guns, the big ones too! Women should learn how to shoot!”
What are your goals?
“I would like to own my own Tae Kwon Do gym someday; that would be a dream come true! My other interests include being in a Martial Arts movie and to keep training in my field. I plan to go far in life to do what I love and to achieve what I have dreamed of doing. It may not be a nurse or a doctor, but if I have my Martial Arts, my friends and family beside me, I will go far!”
Advice for women?
“My advice for other women is to never give up on what you believe in, keep reaching for your dreams and don’t let anyone ever stop you.”
What is one thing in the world you would change?
“What I would change is to stop all of the hate in this world and teach people to respect diversity and inclusion. This, I believe, would bring more peace to our world.”
Help Living Hope International Orphanage – http://livinghopeintl.org/
To Learn More About Shen Follow her on Facebook Shen Walker The Breaker