Town offering intro to self defence for women

Steve Rooke

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The Town of Morinville is partnering with Rooke School of Karate to offer a three-hour introductory Ladies’ Self Defence class May 31 at the Rooke School of Karate (10301-100 Ave.)

Tyler Edworthy, Morinville’s Operations and Program Coordinator, said the idea for the class came from a talk with a Morinville High School Teacher who was looking to put something together for she and her friends. The idea seemed a good fit for what the Town was doing.

“It falls in line with the healthy lifestyle,” Edworthy said, adding it was felt the program was an important thing to offer in consideration of the issue of violence towards women. “They’ll learn some hand-to-hand techniques that will help them defend themselves in any violent situation. Along with that they will have some key points of contact that they will go over.”

Edworthy said the class is an introduction to a longer 20-hour program Rooke School of Karate will offer in the fall. The Town felt it was important to offer an introduction for women. “The reason we are providing this is there has always been some need for ladies’ self defence,” Edworthy said. “There’s violence out there whether we want to admit it or not. We’re just giving ladies the tools they need to protect themselves. We want to make sure that people in Morinville feel safe.”

Sensei Steven Rooke is the instructor for the program. He said he will teach women basic self defence information ranging from what they can do in their home, around their neighbourhood and even when to the grocery store.

“They will learn what actions they can do prior to being assaulted to avoid being a target,” Rooke said. “Then we will also provide basic defensive techniques that can be used when assaulted from the front, behind and even what to do when knocked to the ground.

The 4th-degree black belt in Uechi Ryu Karate said 85 to 90 per cent of all assaults against women are at the hands of men. “Statistics say one in four women will be assaulted to some degree in their lifetime,” he said. “If having even the slight bit of knowledge, either prior to or even during an assault might allow that person to survive being assaulted, then they should take a course like this.”

Cost of the three-hour session is $40. For more information contact Tyler Edworthy at 780-939-7834.

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