It took four years for the Northern Taekwondo Academy of Sun Peaks to bring another event to the community, hosting a self-defence seminar June 9. The event was on the bucket list of chief instructor Ryan Oevermann who brought in seventh-degree blackbelt master Kurt Ottesen to teach 30 students from across the province.
“He went through comfort zones, hand-to-hand combat, we went through personal boundaries which is huge, giving yourself permission to defend yourself which is also huge, how not to be a victim,” Oevermann explained.
Master Ottesen, who specializes in close quarter combat, weapons, tactics, escape and evasion, applies his techniques both in martial arts and in his professional life training police officers and military personnel.
“A lot of the stuff that he was teaching was old school that you couldn’t get away with in most schools today,” said Oevermann. “This type of self-defence was more hands on more intense.”
Throughout the seminar students were taken through a variety of scenarios and learned methods of disarming an attacker who has a knife or gun.
“Everybody learned a new technique, a new way of defending themselves.”
With a minimum age requirement of 13 years of age, many of the seminar’s participants were instructors from other Taekwondo academies who will take their new skills back to their students for practical application.
“We have classes that are devoted to our self-defence but to have a full day seminar to invite people from all over the province, I don’t know that it’s been done in the past decade.”
Sun Peaks saw representation from five locals including Oevermann who said he would host a self-defence course again in a heartbeat.
The local taekwondo program will now turn its focus on final belt testing before taking a break for the summer.