A martial arts and self-defense instructor from Indiana will be helping Storm Lake area residents gain confidence in themselves and learn how to protect themselves and others they love from attackers during a technique-laden seminar next weekend in Storm Lake.
Clint Hughes, a certified martial arts instructor from Lafayette, Ind., who formerly taught in Storm Lake, will be returning to town to lead a 90-minute seminar on realistic self-protection techniques on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the wrestling room of Siebens Fieldhouse at Buena Vista University. The session, which will last from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature a number of different physical and mental techniques to use in case of attack, including empty hand actions and a number of basic martial arts moves.
Hughes has been the instructor for a number of similar self-defense seminars in Indiana and across the nation for the past several years, and said he is looking forward to helping teach as many people in the community as possible about the different self-protection techniques this weekend.
"I really hope to get a good turnout from the community," Hughes said. "I would expect that a lot of college-age people will attend, but I hope to have people of all ages from the community there as well."
Hughes will present a number of different scenarios to the class, including both front and rear attacks, and will then demonstrate the physical self-defense techniques and the underlying principles behind them. Those in the class will then be able to practice each of the techniques with Hughes providing additional instruction on both an individual and group basis.
While each of the physical actions presented at the seminar are rooted in the martial arts, Hughes said all of the techniques would work well for people of all backgrounds - including those with no prior martial arts experience.
"This class is designed for anyone to take," Hughes said. "We are going to deal with scenarios from a very basic point of view, so the techniques will be direct and meant to be applicable for those who don't train (in martial arts) regularly. Obviously training full time would be helpful, but this material is designed to work fast to create an avenue of escape for the student."
"This is something that everyone can really gain a lot from," Mark Reeder, president of the BVU Kenpo Karate Club, the sponsor of the event, said. "You don't have to be an expert to take this class at all."
While many of Hughes' pupils have been female, he said male students would also benefit from the course as well.
"It is called a women's self-defense course, but all of my classes are open to all who want to learn, and I usually have at least some guys in all of the classes," Hughes said.
The Indiana instructor said one of the major aims of the course is to help people gain a sense of self-confidence, an often-overlooked asset which can be critically important for people who are attacked.
"Personal safety is very important, but even more important is a feeling of security which one can gain from learning self-defense," Hughes said. "The mindset training that we'll be doing is almost more important than the physical aspect of what will be covered. The first step for people to accept that they have value as human beings and their life is worth protecting. It's very important for people to accept that."
"Building self-esteem is really important," Reeder, who teaches martial arts classes at BVU, said. "Feeling good about yourself and having the self-confidence of knowing that you can defend yourself is something that can really make a difference."
Hughes will also be teaching a community Kenpo Karate seminar from 1-3 p.m. in the BVU wrestling room after the self-defense class. The cost for the second class will also be $20, and will be waived for members of the BVU Kenpo Karate Club.