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Self defense, a life skill everyone should know

Hiscoe Jiu Jitsu in Chilliwack is offering a 10-week self defense course for civilians.

Knowing self defense is a skill Steve Hiscoe says is just as important as knowing how to swim.

And he would know.

Hiscoe has 24 years of law enforcement under his belt, plus 36 years of jiu jitsu training. He knows how to spot danger. He knows how to detect pre-attack indicators. He knows how to defend himself.

And for 10 weeks, from Feb. 20 to April 6, Hiscoe will be giving others that knowledge.

The owner of Hiscoe Jiu Jitsu on Young Road is holding a 10-week civilian self defense course that's open to anyone over the age of 16.

"This is not a martial arts, karate, or jiu jitsu course, it's a course teaching people how to defend and protect themselves," said Hiscoe, an eighth degree black belt.

"Not everybody wants to make a longtime commitment to learning a martial art, but there are a lot of people who want to learn how to defend themselves."

According to the British Columbia Crime Report, there were 70,766 violent crimes committed in the province in 2010; 54 per cent were assaults and 46 per cent were other violent crimes that included sexual assault, harassment, robbery, and forcible confinement.

"This is not make believe, it's not stuff that just happens in the movies, it's real," said Hiscoe. "Learning how to protect yourself is one of those life skills everyone should know."

However, the 10-week course isn't about learning how to fight, it's about learning how to recognize potential dangers, how to conduct risk assessments, and how to respond to situations when they arise with appropriate defensive skills.

"It's about having the confidence and the ability to know if something happens, you can respond," said Hiscoe. "Even if you're just creating a distance, and having an authoritative voice, at least you're portraying that you can handle yourself.

"When you look at attempted abductions, the ones who get away are the ones who fight back. Predators are lazy, they look for easy targets, they want to get in and out, they want to be invisible. How do you counter that? You've got to slow them down, you've got to be loud, you've got to fight back," said Hiscoe.

"I would much rather be in the hospital with a black eye and broken nose knowing that I fought back than laying somewhere severely injured."

The 10-week self defense academy is $325 and runs on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. from Feb. 20 to April 26.

For more information or to register, call 604-793-6107 or email