Self-defense seminars teach more than martial arts

Following the success of a recently held free self-defense seminar, Doug Smith of Sylvan Lake Traditional Karate

Following the success of a recently held free self-defense seminar, Doug Smith of Sylvan Lake Traditional Karate, is offering another free seminar for girls age 9-13.

He explained this seminar will be different than the last with greater sensitivity and discretion appropriate to the age group.

Smith said he has been working closely with the schools to ensure all young girls in the community have access to self-defense training and parents should expect to see information sheets being brought home.

“I’ve been hosting seminars for a long time and when I was initially approached to host a seminar in Sylvan Lake I began researching what was available to women in the area and saw that there was a definite need,” said Sensei Smith who has been teaching Goju Ryu Karate for over 25 years. “Self-defense is just absolutely necessary. Every one should be walking around on equal footing every where they go.”

Smith said he would be teaching the girls more than just basic moves and breaks, adding self-defense as a whole is about more than knowing how to defend yourself.

“We don’t want girls leaving feeling paranoid thinking they are going to be attacked at any time what we are teaching is common sense and awareness. It is so important that they knowhow to defend themselves and more importantly that they are aware,” he explained. “We take swimming lessons not because we think we are going to drown but rather because it is a smart thing to do and I think self defense is much the same.”

Above and beyond the basic moves, common sense and street awareness skills, Smith explained the most common occurrence he sees in young girls and women who have taken the seminars is an increase in confidence.

“It is a challenging time these girls are transitioning from childhood to early adulthood and there are things they will start to be made more aware of as they get older and face that transition,” saidSmith. “Confidence can be an issue many girls face at that age and it is an aspect that will spill over into many aspects of their lives. To be able to know how to defend yourself can help in that confidence.”

The seminar will take place on April 16 from 2-4 p.m. with those wishing to have their daughters attend being asked to please contact Doug Smith at 403 598 0459.