Island women attend self defense class

Friday, July 27th, 2012


With the increase in violence towards girls and women, especially after the tragic death of Jasmine Lowe in the Cayo District, there has been a significant rally to prepare and prevent such incidents from reoccurring. With “safety first” in mind, a group of women came together for a lesson in self-defense taught by instructor Renee Wentz.

Held at the Banyan Bay conference room, the self-defense class was initiated by Colette Kase and Renee Wentz, organized by Jan Lyons and Ti Southwell, and marketed by Beth Hart. These ladies all had one goal in common: get as many women as possible to learn some self-defense techniques and empower themselves. Wentz has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has taught self-defense since 2002.

Two groups of a total of over forty women learned various techniques which included defending against chokes, strangulation, suffocation, weapons (knives, machetes and guns), and more. Wentz also taught attendees about street safety, observational skills, using voice as a weapon and attack prevention. Women from all walks of life, from the littlest at five years old, to teenagers and their mothers/aunts/friends, learned valuable skills with enthusiasm.

The San Pedro Sun spoke to one of the organizers, Jan Lyons, who stated that with the success of the first class, there is already an interest in having another lesson in a few months. Those that attended the first one may also be able to attend a follow-up class to keep their skills honed. There were many factors that led to this first-of-its-kind event. Organizers would like to thank Cindy and Renita of Changes in Latitudes, who provided lodging for instructor Renee. Banyan Bay’s Terez Tillett is also thanked for helping in facilitating the use of the conference room for the classes. Those wishing to attend the next class can contact either Jan at [email protected] or Ti at [email protected].

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