By Brittany Maroney
Photos by Claudia Johnstone
Location: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
Tiffany Armstrong is on a mission to educate and empower women to walk strong everywhere they go. As a survivor of childhood and marital abuse, Armstrong learned this lesson the hard way and has now made it her life’s work to help women find their voice, and use it.
The fact that one in three women will be attacked in their lifetime is a staggering statistic that Armstrong holds close to her heart because she is one of them. At the age of 20, she survived an attack – one that took place in a home with her friends – using the only three self-defense moves she knew. By mastering these simple self-defense skills, and the mindset to overcome the fear of an attack, Armstrong managed to get away, ultimately saving herself from a man whom she later learned had purposely targeted her.
“When I realized that three simple moves had saved my life, I went on to get two second-degree black belts in street-smart self-defense,” Armstrong says. “I have since spent the last 20-plus years searching for ways to help other women be safe.”
After realizing her attacker was able to enter the home because it was not secured effectively, she joined her family’s company, Pop-A-Lock Locksmiths and Security. She quickly climbed the ranks to become its vice president.
“I was immediately drawn to this industry because of my passion for personal safety as well as home and business safety,” Armstrong says. “My assault made me realize that there are so many simple things you can do to secure your home that helps keep intruders out, therefore helping you avoid a potential attack.”
In addition to being a full-service locksmith and security firm, Pop-A-Lock is known for helping to save the lives of children and pets – for free – who have inadvertently been locked inside of a car. Armstrong’s local franchises, which cover Maricopa County, have saved thousands of Arizona children and pets who were locked in motor vehicles, and, last year alone, Pop-A-Lock nationwide saved more than 16,000 children.
Mindset & Moves
When not at the helm of Pop-A-Lock’s altruistic efforts, which also include those for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Veterans Success Project, Armstrong has been speaking and educating on self-defense for more than 20 years with a goal of giving women the tools they need to help protect themselves in the world we live in today. Her unique approach to preparedness uses two facets of self-defense not often taught together – technique and mindset – which are the foundation of how Armstrong educates women.
“My most recent project has been creating my own self-defense and mindset company,” Armstrong says of her eponymous brand, which launches this month. “We are officially doing a worldwide launch of an entire online self-defense and mindset curriculum where women and families can learn in the comfort of their own homes on a time schedule that works for them.”
This venture combines Armstrong’s educational and professional background in anatomy, physiology and psychology, which help her explain body mechanics and physics on a deeper level while addressing how to manage one’s fear response. The series includes more than 215 short educational videos that will take viewers through a step-by-step process of how to handle various situations. Arming women with techniques to defend themselves, the collection aims to provide the peace of mind that they can overcome an attacker if ever put in that situation.
Armstrong’s videos also encompass practical everyday situations because she notes that 80 percent of all attacks happen from someone the victim knows.
“We don’t like to think about that, but it’s the truth,” Armstrong says. “So, we touch upon practical ways to understand how to de-escalate an argument with your significant other or even a random stranger in a bar. The videos are made for the ‘everywoman’ who is juggling a lot and doesn’t have time to get into a dojo to learn the techniques and mindset. I want to be able to help them understand that they can also learn these skills with very little time commitment or effort.”
Armstrong’s entire mission is centered around letting women know that self-defense does not have to be complicated. It’s the most basic of moves that could make the difference between surviving, or not surviving, an attack. After all, she is living proof that three simple moves can be effective in saving a life.
“If I can help even one person avoid a potential attack or overcome an attacker with grace, then my legacy is complete,” Armstrong says. “I want to help all women have the peace of mind and awareness so they can be the best versions of themselves in their lives and for their friends, families, businesses, and most importantly, themselves.”
To read more about Armstrong’s journey and learn more about her self-defense program, visit www.tiffanyarmstrong.net.