Self-Defense Training for Youth

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
St. James Catholic Church Youth sponsored a “Self-Defense Training for Youth” event on Friday April 10, 2015.

Self-defense means doing everything possible to avoid fighting someone who threatens or attacks you.  Self-defense is all about using your smarts – not your fists.

St. James Catholic Church Youth sponsored a “Self-Defense Training for Youth” event on Friday April 10, 2015.  Thirty youth from the surrounding area participated.  In collaboration were St. James Parish Sheriff Juvenile Davison Office, Sgt. Mary Kliebert, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Youth and 5th Ward Elementary 4-H.  Nydia Cooper, 2nd degree level 4 blackbelt, Junior Taekwondo instructor, St. James Catholic Church Youth and St. James Parish 4-H member at large was featured in demonstrating self-defense training that she has learned in her 8 years of Taekwondo training.

An opening prayer was given by Rev. Dr. Samuel Jones of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church with a welcome by Kenya Jones, purpose by Nydia Cooper, introductions of participants and speakers, Daja Gibson and the activities began.

The training was broken down into sessions:  Self-Defense Training for Youth, Sgt. Kliebert; Stop, Drop and Roll, Bullying and the Six Pillars of Characters, Fifth Ward Elementary 4-H Club guided by Myra Jones, 4-H Leader with 5th Ward Elementary 4-H and 4-Hers Haylee Brooks (St. James High 4-H) and Dalajia Raymond (FWES 4-H); Good Drugs/Bad Drugs, St. James Catholic Church Youth, Amani Jackson; Self-Defense-TKD Style, Nydia Cooper; Videos on Respect and Bullying, St. James Catholic Church Youth, Halley Armant and Ayani Jackson. 

Ashley Octave said everyone should learn how to defend themselves. Chris Williams said he learned, “How to defend yourself from people that are trying to hurt you and how not to abuse good drugs and say no to bad drugs.” 

Daija Gibson said, “Every man, woman and child needs to know how to defend themselves, but they also need to sense to know when it is and isn’t necessary.” 

Shelby Butler said when asked about doing this activity again, “yes, this self-defense class has really changed my perspective on life.”

Special thanks to volunteers, Paula Cooper-Link, Arline Morrise, Bonnie Zeringue; Robert Harden of Harden’s Photography and ASA Photographers for shooting the photographs and presenting each student with a souvenir photograph; Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for the hot dogs and transportation; Joseph Winchester and Fifth Ward 4-H for chips and drinks. 

“With pleasure we give extra special thanks to Janel Winchester, Rod Steib, Milton Cayette, Oscar Pedescleaux, Robert Ferchaud and Unnamed for their donations to make this event possible.”