Given this is not the first occurrence where there have been many cases that occur in on a consecutive basis. In 2013, there were cases of twenty-four homicides recorded up until November, 25% have been against females and of a violent nature with post-mortem results ranging from repeated incisions to the neck, blunt force trauma, multiple stab wounds, and strangulation.
This is in addition to the numerous sexual assaults and domestic violence cases, which often go unreported. SHIELD denounces such heinous criminal acts.
Crime does not discriminate and can occur in any area including those perceived to be safe. Predators can attack when the victim is preoccupied with mundane tasks such as answering a cell phone, unlocking a door, or removing groceries from a car.
However, not even the sanctity of the home is immune to vicious attacks. One who appears timid, scared, or weak is easy to overpower. On the other hand, a confident person walking tall is less likely to become a victim. We want to help women realize their strength.
In light of these events, the team of SHIELD believes that it is our civic duty to offer comprehensive self-defense courses on the island. Given this is a national issue that is plaguing our society, we urge all high ranking martial artists and groups to put aside own agendas and political differences but rather unite in offering and promoting Self Defense sessions to the female populace.
Self-defense courses train the mind and body. Strength training helps women fight and win against an attacker, whereas mental training helps women develop intuition, in which they learn to sense danger and trust their gut feeling. It also empowers our women with the necessary skills to defend themselves takes center stage. No matter what the age our women need to feel safe or at the very least know how to defend themselves against an aggressor.
The aim of Self-defense starts with avoiding and using physical defense as a last resort. In the spirit of unity, the core of these multi-disciplines embodies using the skills acquired only as a last resort. But these are truly extenuating circumstances; the occurrence of such heinous crimes against women has brought the martial arts world together to fight a common foe.
Background on SHIELD
Established in October 2013, SHIELD is a group of martial artists spanning from diverse disciplines to be an advocacy group to unite other martial artists and organizations with the aim of promoting for Self Defense courses for women and denouncing such criminal activities in St. Lucia.
The group comprises of four martial artists, namely Samuel Decaille, Danny Augustin, Andre Murray and Karim Sifflet. Each is proficient in Tae Kwon Do, Capoeira, Kick Boxing and Karate respectively and has combined to blend their respective disciplines in an effort to provide women with the necessary tools to be proactive in the face of potential danger.
Between them they have eighty-one years of experience and thirteen belts of varying degrees. Sifflet’s roots are steeped in Shotokan karate, where he holds a (Nidan) 2nd degree black belt. He is currently the co-instructor for Budokai Karate dojo which is affiliated to Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) St. Lucia. Murray has four recorded black belts in Shotokan karate, taekwondo, kenpo karate and combat jiu jitsu.
He is also the founder of the Ryu Kaze kickboxing club that was recently represented in the Caribbean Kickboxing Championships in Guadeloupe. Augustin has experience in karate and taekwondo, but is most versed in capoeira, in which he holds seven belts. The unquestionable grandmaster of the group is Samuel Decaille who has been in the business for thirty-four years and is a fourth degree black belt in taekwondo and is currently integrating aikido into his arsenal.
Armed with this wealth of knowledge, Shield promises to promote all the bases including defense on the streets, defense at home, defense against weapons, and defense using easily accessible items most critical, escaping danger from the onset.