Taking charge, seven ladies enrolled in a Women’s Self Defense Seminar held at the Kitscoty Legion on August 12.
Nor-Alta Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, Dave Woods reviewed safety tips to ensure the women would make an effort to be aware of their surroundings. He also taught the women skills on how to use their bodies as a weapon if ever in a necessary situation that they were unable to avoid using words.
His suggestions included knowing a family or friends phone number, knowing your address, keeping eye contact, and downloading safety apps to your devices. Woods stressed the importance of letting someone know where you are at, whether leaving a situation from frustration, or going for a hike, to always let a parent or a friend know.
With assistants Carmen Stredwick and Sheena Neil, Woods delivered vocal and physical practice with padding for students to learn palm heel strikes, football kicks, elbow strikes, and knee strikes.
“Elbows and knees are two of the strongest parts of the body for weapons, and the skull is harder than cement,” said Woods.
Important tips were given for pivoting and helping the women to learn that in dire situations of attack, their goal is to disable and escape.
Woods said that he had initially joined Karate to avoid bullying, but learned through his training, he learned self respect. With Karate, Law Enforcement, and Jiu-Jitsu training, Woods knows that he can fight if he has to, but certainly doesn’t need to as he can usually de-escalate situations by talking.
“Think; your best defensive tool is your brain. No one is allowed to touch you without your consent. Period. As the assault situation unfolds ask yourself, ‘Where are my targets to hit,’” said Woods.
With Woods wearing full protective gear, women had the opportunity to increase the intensity of training. They did as was requested and responded explosively like firecrackers, and when simulating an attack from their instructor, he found it much like grabbing a tiger by the tail.
When asked what they learned, Rachel Zacharuk said, “I feel confident!”