'The idea is to escape:' Milwaukee gym offers self-defense course to thwart human trafficking

MILWAUKEE -- It's been called the quiet epidemic, but the voices against human trafficking are getting louder. Trained to take on some of the best in mixed martial arts, on Saturday, Jan. 4, FOX6's cameras captured a different kind of bout at Zero to 100 Fitness and MMA in Milwaukee.

Marlon Culpepper

"We are doing what is called our fight against human trafficking," said Marlon Culpepper, owner, head coach, and trainer.

Culpepper uses his gym to teach the community.

"It's a self-defense course that gives knowledge and information on human trafficking," said Culpepper. "What is human trafficking, especially the sex trafficking and kidnapping, which is a hot topic right now."

The special session began with an introduction and a little Q&A about the topic plaguing our community. Participants were broken into groups and given different scenarios and ways to get out of them.

"The idea is to escape," said Culpepper. "You want to go home safely at the end of the day, so there will be some punching and a little bit of kicking. What you learn about is self-awareness."

The class teaches people to take their survival into their own hands.

Mandy Gorman

"I just think that gaining the knowledge of what we can do to protect ourselves is super important," said Mandy Gorman, who took part in the class. "Any tips we can get, we will take."

The course is aimed at giving people a fighting chance if there's ever a physical attempt to force them into a forbidden trade.

"I hope that I can walk away with the self-esteem that I need to be able to protect myself, and my daughter, and anybody else that I can when I walk out here and am alone out there," said Gorman.

Zero to 100 has several different community outreach projects. For more information on those projects, or fitness and MMA classes, CLICK HERE.