In light of a recent upsurge in cases of violence and robbery against students, instructor for the Blue Dragon Karate Academy, Paul Clery, is offering free classes to students, particularly in self-defense.
Clery told St Lucia News Online (SNO) that the crime trend is troubling and must be addressed, if not by the police, but by the students.
He said that his karate school is open to have any primary or secondary school send a specific number of their students, between the hours of 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., to have them trained in self defense. Parents must however consent to having their children trained. They must be between nine to 16 years old. The karate school is located at the National Sports Complex.
“I can train them in martial arts, particularly in self defense. It is basically to equip the students and have them develop a sense of how to practice self-defense at close range and distance. It will also instill discipline in them. It’s not really to teach them how to fight, but to teach them how to develop themselves and at the same time give them self-defense experience,” he added.
The karate instructor explained that the students will be trained to respond to and defend themselves from weapons like sticks and knives.
He reiterated that no fee is attached to the training however, if any student decides to join the school as a full-fledged member then they can do so at a cost.
Clery noted that he and his instructors have discussed this plan and are ready and willing to put aside the time to do so.
Clery said he has been trying to get martial arts in schools, but this has proven to be difficult because they are many other schools that try to lure children into their programmes and charge exorbitant prices for training sessions.
The karate instructor said he wished other instructors will get on board too and help to boast karate in St. Lucia. He believes with the simple self-defense training, it will help to bring about more confidence among the students and assist them to properly defend themselves, when or if ever they come under attack.
“I’ve been in martial arts for over 35 years now and it’s a way of giving back. I am really not going to do it for any money because I am not getting any younger and if there is a way I can contribute I am going to do that,” he added.