Chance to take on bullets

An incoming self-defence course hopes to see locals defending themselves better.

Bill Kipp, an international expert on adrenaline stress response training, is set to team up with local self-defence expert Bob Daigle to teach a series of Fast Defence seminars 20-21 March.

The seminars are designed for men, women and children of all ages.

The children’s seminar for ages 6-12 will be on 20 March in the afternoon. The venue for this seminar is still to be announced.

The adult seminar will be held at the Cayman Prep and High school on Saturday 21 March. The first basic seminar takes place from 9am until roughly 12:30pm. The second seminar takes place 1-4:30pm at the same location and is set to focus on ground fighting.

Most assaults go to the ground and that second beginner seminar will teach the students how to turn fear into power as well as teach the student how to defend themselves while in various positions on the ground.

Grand Cayman is the first Caribbean country to host those seminars, which were voted the best self-defence class for women in the industry by Black Belt magazine.

Kipp has been teaching the seminars around the world for over 20 years. He claims to have fought over 50,000 fights in the ‘Bulletman’ suits.

Daigle, who has some 30 years of martial arts training, first worked with Kipp in the late 90s and most recently trained with Kipp in Baltimore, Maryland for an intensive Fast Combatives three day camp last June.

Daigle says the course is surprisingly realistic.

‘I could not believe the adrenaline rush I felt with this training,’ Daigle said. ‘I felt so much adrenaline, in spite of growing up in the rough streets of Boston and being a former world karate champion. What would the average person feel? It felt so real! This is the most realistic and safe training I have ever seen.’

In Daigle’s eyes, though Cayman might be relatively safe, the rest of the world is not and any self-defence knowledge could be life-saving.

‘The Cayman Islands are, in my opinion, still very safe,’ Daigle said. ‘It’s when you leave Cayman that you might not be prepared for potential danger. Many of us travel on business trips or on vacation all over the world. The question you have to ask yourself is: ‘Am I prepared if a predator approached me or my family?’

Thus the course focuses on real-life scenarios in which someone might be attacked and shows in real-time how to cope.

One of the key components in the course will be the presence of Bulletmen. They are fully-padded attackers that have specially designed suits that can withstand full force strikes to the groin, eyes and head. The suits have reportedly been some 30 years in the making.

Ultimately, Daigle feels the course will help locals not become targets abroad.

‘Predators seek easy prey. The seminar teaches what to do to avoid giving off signs of fear and also how to turn fear into power in threatening situations.’

At press time there are 25 spaces for each seminar. To register, contact Bob Daigle at [email protected] or call 925-6946.

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