Pepper: The spice of life (or death)

Elite Defense Systems of Rockford hosts self-defense seminars Sept. 11-12

As a martial arts instructor, I have students who come into my business, Elite Defense Systems, and for some reason or another, they need defensive skills immediately! It might be that mother who drags her daughter in a week before she leaves for college, or that businessman who is leaving this Thursday to a dangerous part of the world to complete a business deal. Whatever the situation, it challenged me as an instructor, because I had to seriously ask myself, what do I teach people who only have a couple days or hours to learn self-defense?

I was placed in that situation last summer, as the instructors for the U.S. Air Marshals approached me for some intensive training. Most of these people were ex-military Special Forces, or at least had a background somewhere in law enforcement. Most civilians do not have this kind of training, and very few even consider themselves athletic. Therefore, when teaching them, I had to make things very simplistic but still effective.

Fortunately, I am only one of 12 fully certified instructors in Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do (JKD). This art focuses more on “street fighting” and is a perfect match for my customers, as I only cater toward adults. The art gave me the tools to satisfy the needs of everyone from the U.S. Air Marshals to that 18-year-old daughter who only has three to four hours to train. However, there was still that small piece of the population that didn’t take as well to the training, or needed a lot more time to train.

I realized that pepper spray is the ultimate self-defense tool for civilians—when taught correctly. I was even more motivated by the fact that there are tons of people who carry around this stuff and don’t know the first thing about it, much less have ever truly trained with it. On the other hand, I saw that there are many other people who don’t even carry the stuff. Some are men, who think it is more of a “female defense tool,” and others are just scared of it. That is why I now teach a three hour seminar covering how to effectively and ethically use this tool. Women and men from ages 16 and older are invited to learn very functional self-defense using pepper spray. In addition, we always include three pepper sprayers with the cost of the seminar so people get the training with the specific sprayer they will be carrying.

To show how easily and simplistic self-defense is, I will be putting on three seminars through the Sept. 11-12 weekend. Saturday, Sept. 11, we will put on a FREE women’s self-defense seminar from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Everyone will be surprised how much more confident women can become with only an hour of instruction, which will focus on five moves that would take care of any attacker. That will then be followed with a FREE self-defense seminar (all levels, men and women, ages 16 and older) in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, going from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Those interested in the pepper spray seminar can take advantage of the seminar Sunday, Sept. 12, from noon-3 p.m. The cost is $100, and includes three sprayers. Readers of The Rock River Times can take 50 percent off by calling in and registering before Friday, Sept. 10. The seminars will be held at Excel Academy/Elite Defense Systems, in back of the North Towne Mall. For registration or more details, call 885-4758, or check out

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