With over 30 years invested in self-defence training, NorAlta Owner and Sensai David Woods has spent a lot of time mastering his craft.
From first entering the world of martial arts in the eighth grade to running a studio of his own in the community, Woods is here for new and returning students.
He believes that there is more to Jiu-Jitsu than fighting.
“It’s the physical aspect of self-defence, but there’s also the mental aspect of self-defence. There’s the knowledge aspect of self-defence. All of that I find is extremely important.”
He focuses on all of these areas when training his students, whose ages range from 3 years old to those well into adulthood.
Working with such different skill levels, Woods has to get creative while teaching the skills he deems important.
For example, he teaches abduction prevention to younger kids by turning it into a game.
The kids need to maneuver through an obstacle course and become vocal if they get grabbed or tagged.
All of these techniques applied at different levels are designed to help students better understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
With 20 years of law enforcement under his belt, he uses this to add another factor to training.
“Generally 90% of our techniques are after being grabbed or assaulted, or at least, about to be assaulted, then we can defend ourselves as per the Criminal Code of Canada. Using my police knowledge on the Criminal Code, I teach what we can do, how we’re allowed to defend ourselves, and how far we can go.”
Woods believes that he offers a well-rounded class that is aimed at helping any and all that want to take part.
When the pandemic hit, Woods believed he was already ahead of the curve.
“After every class, it was mandatory that every kid had to go wash their hands and had to wash properly. And I made sure that they washed their hands properly.”
With Jiu-Jitsu being a very personal sport, all he had to do was add a few extra steps.
“So it’s really just being a lot more stringent with our safety protocols. Before I even started I bought an industrial-grade vinyl cleaner that disinfects everything. I had been using that long before COVID came along.”
Additional waivers and forms have also been implemented.
Years of training and dedication have gone into building what he teaches and he is just as enthusiastic about it now as he was when he started training.
“The doors are open, and I do hope to see more faces as time goes on.”
Woods is currently offering smaller classes until he can operate at full capacity.
For more information check them out on Facebook or by clicking here for the website.
Written by Justin Iverson.