Brackers want FAST return

When
the FAST Defense team was invited to go to Cayman Brac to give self-defence
classes to the residents there, they hoped that it would be well received. But
the Brackers didn’t like it. They absolutely loved it!

Karate
instructor Bob Daigle organised the trip, which was sponsored by Jude Scott,
the chairman of Cayman Airways and a former partner at Ernst & Young and
the rest of the Scott family. Daigle’s team of padded ‘bulletmen’ – Lance
Jefferson and Troy O’Neil – along with instructors Risa Golberg-Ebanks and
Paulino Rodrigues, gave three seminars that went down a treat. 

First
was the FAST CATS seminar for kids to teach them anti-bullying techniques, then
a session for teenagers and finally one for adults which Jude and his niece
Myfanwy participated in. (Jude’s daughters Cathryn and Lauryn also took a
class.)

Fast
Adrenal Stress Training teaches verbal and body language skills as well as the
best way to tackle an attacker if it gets physical. Conflict resolution is the
key.  Devised by Bill Kipp over 20 years
ago, it is gaining prominence in the mainstream after two decades widely
ignored, partly because the Cayman Islands has embraced it so much.

This
first time in Brac had a good turnout, thanks to the efforts of Jude and
Myfanwy and Pastor Joel Scott and his wife Marlyn who generated interest.  

“I
think it’s a great seminar,” said Ventisha Conolly, accompanied by two young
girls, Lucy and Sasha Parchman. “My niece here was bullied in school. And now
that she has learned how to be confident and more assertive, we won’t have that
worry anymore. She’s going to say to that bully: ‘Step away from me, you can’t
bully me anymore.’ And I’m glad for it. I’m president of the Lions Club and the
team to come back in September and run a couple more classes.”

Lynne
Walton, mother of Abbey, 5, said: “I thought the FAST CATS seminar was
excellent. I don’t think that this kind of training can start too young and I
actually think it should be part of the school curriculum. Just because we’re a
small community doesn’t mean they don’t need these skills from very early on.
The more practice the better. As a community of islands, we do travel a lot and
you never know when they might need these skills. We’re very grateful for them
coming.”

Dad
Robert Walton said: “This is a very professional programme. Even looking at my
own daughter, when she first came in she wasn’t very confident at all. And just
being around good teachers and all the rest of the kids showing that much
excitement, she is more confident now.”

Geoff
Scott, 13, sort of enjoyed it. “My mother wanted me to come here. She thought
it would teach me something.” He certainly feels a little more confident in
dealing with an unpleasant situation now.

One
woman watched as her grandchildren joined in and they all felt energised from
the experience. Brittni Bodden, 13, said: “I learned how to handle myself, in
case anyone comes up to me, I’d be able to protect myself better. I’ll tell my
friends and family that it was good and they should try next time to come. Of
course, I will come to another class.”

Her
brother Ethan Ebanks, 8, said: “I learned how to fight bullies. Back off! I
will stay calm in the future.”

Grannie
Ethlyn Barnes said: “It was marvellous. I think the children got a good
description of what they need to do to protect themselves. Not to give in to
anger but fight them with the right attitude. The way to run them off and scare
them away, if they use the methods shown, they will do well.

“Ethan
has had a lot of problems at school with boys picking on him. Two in particular
that cause trouble. I tell him that when he gets angry that he must count to
ten. Just walk away and leave them alone. Don’t allow them to torment you and
tell them to back off and leave you alone.

“My
father was a soldier and he taught us all that. I think that the children
should get a chance to do something like this more often.”

Marcia
Rankin said: “I definitely enjoyed it and I’m ready to go again! This has
taught me a lot and given me more self-confidence.”

Matthew
McKinley said: “I enjoyed it and can take a lot from it because I’m moving to
Grand Cayman and in case I run into any violence over there, I know what to do
now. I know how to control my adrenaline and not to fight more and more.”

Myffie
Scott said: “I think this FAST Defense course is absolutely tremendous. I’ve
never taken a course like this before and it really helped me to deal with the
adrenal stress of it. Just getting to go through the actions with full force
has made me a lot more confident.”

Jude
Scott said: “After seeing the FAST CATS then the teen event I was blown away.
From participating today, it really far exceeded my expectations. I think we’re
blessed being part of it because normally we just look on self-defence as being
purely the physical part of being in combat. But really empowering our people
and being more able to use their voices for strength, confidence and posture to
really avoid conflict was just tremendous. Certainly for me, its done
tremendous things.”

Kenyas
Simmons added: “I thought taking FAST Defense was a great experience. I thought
it would be more like karate but it was really good, the way we were taught how
to use our voices.”

* The next FAST CATS anti-bullying
class is for ages 6-12. It is at Fitness Connection on Friday 9 July from
5-7pm. Cost: CI$69 Pre- Registration required. Contact Bob Daigle. Tel:
925-6946 or [email protected]

SPORTSFastDefenseSTORY

The teenagers picked up some invaluable tips.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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