“When a lion chases its prey, it never goes after the fastest and strongest. Instead, it picks the slowest and weakest for its meal. The same can be said about human predators.”

So says the Women-Safe Network, a leading certification course for women’s danger awareness and self-defense.

Women are invited to learn how to better take care of themselves at a free self-defense seminar Saturday, sponsored St. Joseph Hospital.

The seminar will be led by Joe Hough, who is nationally trained in self-defense, and Mike Campbell, who is certified with the National Security Alliance Kid-Safe Network Division.

The seminar will include presentations and demonstrations, including ATM, basic, driving, home, parking lot, shopping, transportation, travel, vacation and walking safety, according to the hospital.

Edwards explains program

“Part of wellness is safety,” said Joy Edwards, St. Joseph wellness coordinator. She said the weekend program is designed to help people keep themselves safe. Hough joins her in stressing it’s especially important for women and girls to be secure.

While some physical self-defense moves will be demonstrated, Edwards said the seminar is not designed to turn participants into martial arts experts. Rather, it will raise participants’ awareness of potentially dangerous situations and how to deal with them.

This could be as simple as asking a security guard or co-workers to walk with you to your car after dark.

Instructors offer advice

Affiliated with the Kokomo Academy of Martial Arts, Hough and Campbell are members of KAMA’s Prevent the Abduction Team. Hough and Campbell are second- and fifth-degree black belts, respectively.

They are joined on the team by fifth-degree black belts Larry Bailey and Jon Russell, as well as third-degree black belt Dave Summers in offering self-defense instruction.

Belt colors worn with marshal arts clothing identify the wearer’s skill level, with black being the highest level.

Hough said the team started a few years back to acknowledge a community desire for self-defense advice.

Hough said much of what his group advocates is how people can take steps to avoid being victims in the first place.

Campbell said the seminar’s goal will be to heighten awareness and avoid confrontation, not inspire fear.

“Regardless of where you are or what you are doing, you need to always keep a heightened awareness of your surroundings,” according to Women-Safe, “particularly in areas where you’re more likely to be victimized.”

Tom Carey may be reached at (765) 454-8560 or via e-mail at tom.carey@kokomotribune.com

If you go:

• EVENT: St. Joseph Hospital sponsors self-defense seminar for women and girls ages 10 and up. All minors must attend with a legal guardian.

• WHEN: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

• WHERE: St. Joseph Education Center, 615 St. Joseph Drive

• COST: Free

• ADDITIONAL DETAILS: A light lunch will be provided; registration is required to participate.

• REGISTRATION: For more information or to sign up, call Joy Edwards at (765) 456-5941. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

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