Preparing for defence

By Rhonda Cooper

The “Don’t mess with me” look on Grade 10 student Amanda Regehr’s face warns all who watch her practising her newly acquired self-defence skills during her Wellness 10 class at Meadow Lake’s Carpenter High School Jan. 17 that she means business.

Regehr and her classmates had the opportunity to learn some basic self-defence moves from In Charge instructors Clayton McNally and Jessica Hamel. McNally, who founded the company three years ago, trained Hamel and although they are based out of Saskatoon they have travelled extensively around the province sharing their skills and knowledge with a variety of people.

“We offer classes at the field house in Saskatoon,” said Hamel. “We are travelling once a week to North Battleford to work with the Boys and Girls club. We’ve been all across the province, but this is our first time in Meadow Lake.”

Tristan Nagy (right) takes down partner Ryan Striga during the self defence portion of their Wellness 10 class Jan. 17 at Carpenter High School.

MacNally said they recently spent a week at a high school in North Battleford. They also travel north to work with the miners at Cameco.

From basic defensive moves of how to disarm a knife or gun-wielding opponent, the In Charge course offers a variety of techniques and skills to its students. The Wellness 10 class was only an hour in length, so students got to see just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to self-defence. But Regehr also participated in the three community sessions offered in Meadow Lake.

“I am really excited about the course,” she said. “Stuff like this catches my attention. I’ve always wanted to learn these types of moves.”

It was Regehr’s aunt, Kim Heddon, who was the driving force in bringing In Charge to Meadow Lake. Heddon believes self-defence is important, especially for her female relatives, and has gifted this course to her nieces.

“It is good to know what to do if you find yourself in this type of situation,” said Regehr. “It is a good skill to have.”

How to properly make a fist, the correct zones in which to strike an attacker, how to get out of a choke hold when pinned against a wall, using momentum to escape an attack and put a cop hold on a would-be attacker, and how to disarm someone with a knife were just some of the skills session one offered Regehr and the other participants.

While the Meadow Lake evening course was populated by women, its skills and information are also good for men.

The males in the Wellness 10 class were hesitant to join in but, as Regehr noted, anyone could find themselves in a situation where the skills would be useful.

“Guys think they’re so tough,” she said.

As for Regehr, she was looking forward to her next evening session and when asked how she could practice her skills afterward, she calmly noted she has brothers.

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