When the FAST Defense team held
three seminars in Cayman Brac last month, very few who attended knew beforehand
what to expect. They vaguely knew that it was about learning how to deal with
potential violence in a street confrontation but little else.
Well after the children, teenagers
and adults each got a couple of hours of expert instruction from former world
karate heavyweight champion Bob Daigle, they felt significantly empowered with
a confidence to handle a difficult situation better.
Daigle always tells his students at
the end of his sessions not to go out looking for a bad guy and trying to be a
hero, such is the feeling of empowerment the classes generate. Fast Adrenal
Stress Training helps would-be victims cope far better with the threat of a
The instructors ‘woof’ students,
imitating a real-life situation and teach them how best to cope verbally so
that it doesn’t get physical. Then in their bulletmen suits, they simulate
real-life attacks and students are encouraged to ‘flip the switch’ in an
all-out attack to best deal with a hoodlum.
FAST Defense was devised by Bill
Kipp over 20 years ago and is rapidly growing in popularity around the world,
thanks to instructors like Daigle, who is the Caribbean director of FAST
Daigle’s team included the padded
‘bulletmen’ Lance Jefferson and Troy O’Neil and instructors Risa Golberg-Ebanks
and Paulino Rodrigues.
The Brac trip and seminars were
sponsored and organised by the Layman and Martha Scott family, particularly
Jude Scott, who is a retired partner of Ernst & Young and now chairman of
Cayman Airways. Pastor Joel Scott and his wife Marlyn of the Crossroads Baptist
Church ensured plenty turned up at the hall behind the Fellowship Baptist
Church, which was kindly donated for the cause.
The initial response during the
week after FAST classes were held in Brac were positive. Jude said: “People
were very impressed with the programme. The professionalism of the instruction,
realistic intensity and the dramatic positive empowerment and confidence was
tremendous. Many participants were talking about their experiences for days
Many who didn’t attend but heard
what it was like want to get involved next time. “They expressed their strong
desire to participate next time it comes to the Brac, as they heard the
programme was excellent,” said Jude, who saw two of his three daughters –
Lauryn, 7, and Cathryn, 10 – blossom from attending a class. His niece Myfanwy
joined in too.
Jude added: “It has been great to
watch the enhanced confidence with which my daughters interact with others now.
I’m looking forward to having them participate in refresher or advanced programmes
in the future.
“There is tremendous interest for
the programme to return to the Brac as early as this fall. A well-structured
follow-up series will be well received by Brackers.”