Self defense – it’s not a thought that crosses most women’s mind unless they have personally encountered violence. Yet it is a skill that has the potential to save a life, if and when a woman is confronted with a violent or threatening situation.
This Saturday women of Sylvan Lake will have a unique opportunity to learn self defense in a free seminar hosted by Doug Smith of Sylvan LakeTraditional Karate.
Smith, who has been studying, instructing and training in karate for around 30 years, explained he has conducted a high number of selfdefense seminars across the province – including seminars in locations with staggering domestic assault statistics.
“We’ve done this course for women’s shelters and other locations throughout Alberta where all of the people in attendance have faced extreme violence in their lives,” said Smith. “It can be very emotional for those in attendance who have faced violence like this first hand.”
He added it is a woman’s right to know how to defend herself and that it is important for women to know how to defend themselves. The decision to make the seminar free was to ensure those who needed access the education received it.
The seminar will primarily be teaching Karate and Jiu Jitsu based self-defense tactics. Smith added many of the techniques taught will be standing moves that would allow a woman an opportunity to get out of threatening situation. In addition, they will also learn what objects can make for good weapons, as well as the importance of environmental awareness and how to gain advantage over attackers from the environment you are in.
On a local level, Smith explained he has heard from a number of concerned mothers in the area who have heard reports of attempted abductions, with some having directly reported to Smith that their own children have experienced threatening situations while walking home from school.
Statistics released by the Sylvan Lake RCMP in early January of 2016 show there were 18 sexual assault cases reported in the area in 2015, as well as five reported kidnapping/hostage/abduction incidents.
Due to the somewhat graphic nature of the seminar Smith has opened the course to girls 16 years of age and older. However, if a parent of a younger daughter wishes to attend, he asks parents to phone him and they can decide together on a case-to-case basis.
Currently he has 15 participants registered including two 13-year-old participants whose parents agreed they’d like their daughters to have the self-defense training Smith is providing. As the seminar is free, Smith will not be putting a cap on the number of registrants and adds if enough women sign up there is potential to run a second seminar on the following Sunday also.
The seminar will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 at the Sylvan Lake Traditional Karate Dojo located at #4, 4 Cuendet Industrial Way. To register for the event call Doug Smith at 403 598 0459.
Smith advises women in attendance to wear comfortable and sturdy clothing as well as to bring water as well as to pack a lunch, as the seminar will break for lunch.