The increase in violence in Cayman in the past year has inspired a karate instructor to hold two unique self-defence seminars on Saturday.
Initially he intended to hold only one but such was the response that Bob Daigle booked a second session at the Cayman Prep and High School.
Daigle is bringing over from the US Bill Kipp, who has developed the Fear Adrenal Stress Training Defence technique.
Kipp was inspired to develop FAST Defence over 20 years ago when a woman karate expert made national headlines after being brutally raped in a street attack.
Despite her martial arts training she was so conditioned to fighting in a controlled environment and pulling her punches and kicks that in a real-life attack she went to pieces.
In the two-and-a-half hour course Kipp and Daigle simulate a real attack as much as possible. Instructors act as ‘woofers’ (assailants) and potential victims are taught how to respond both verbally and physically.
Daigle ran successful martial arts classes in George Town for 14 years before quitting through exhaustion.
Now a Coldwell Banker realtor, he takes self-defence classes occasionally and has invested $3,000 on ‘Bulletman’ suits.
They are heavily padded suits instructors wear to allow students to attack with full force and not in a simulated way.
‘These seminars are designed to teach students how to turn fear into power,’ said Daigle.
‘In a threatening situation adrenaline is released into the body which can be used either to freeze or as rocket fuel to fight.
‘People who have attended these seminars say they have a great feeling of empowerment.’
Surveys show that people who experience these sorts of situations are often left traumatised if they feel they didn’t handle it as well as they could have.
Most of his clients for the $99 seminars are women but men are signing up too.
Risa Ebanks is the female coach at the seminars. She went to Daigle’s first self-defence class last year and it boosted her confidence tremendously.
She even had to deal with a nasty confrontation soon after. ‘All that I learned from that one seminar kicked in automatically and I diffused a potentially nasty incident immediately,’ she said.
‘When I met Bill Kipp in the mid-Nineties I thought this was the most realistic form of self-defence,’ said Daigle.
‘I’d pretty much retired from martial arts then. But last June, way before the Estella Scott-Roberts killing, it suddenly occurred to me that with all the travelling Caymanians do they are unprepared and wholly unaware of the potential dangers.
‘Many travel for vacation, business or shopping trips and because there wasn’t much violent crime here before, they would likely be easy prey. For those reasons I implemented this programme.
‘Since then the level of crime seems to have increased so it’s more likely here. FAST Defence increases awareness of dangerous situations. It helps potential victims to recognise the warning signs and avoid it before it becomes dangerous.’
Daigle’s was oversubscribed for these seminars that he is putting on some more in the near future. His contact details are cell: 925-6946 [email protected]