Ted Truscott

Senior trains seniors to fight back

Cane-wielding seniors are regaining confidence at a Langford dojo

Cane-wielding seniors are regaining confidence at a Langford dojo. Ted Truscott, sensei at Yama Neko Dojo, is offering free cane self-defence classes at his Happy Valley Road site until the end of October. The classes focus on boosting confidence as well as providing self-defence tips. “It’s all about a change of attitude that we are after,” Truscott said. “I don’t fear monger, very few seniors are going to get in a fight, they are past fighting in bars. Now it’s just that they feel vulnerable.”

The Langford senior decided to offer the classes this year after being contacted by a 70-year-old man who had just begun to use a cane in preparation for an upcoming surgery.

“He said he looked vulnerable and was starting to feel vulnerable,” Truscott explained. The classes are designed for seniors of all abilities, and people with limited mobility are encouraged to come out. “We will work on light strength exercises and light agility training,” said the 66-year-old sensei. “I want to keep the people safe and within their limits.” Truscott designed the classes that incorporate a combination of Filipino stick fighting, Japanese walking staff and Second World War swagger stick.

“They will learn hitting, thrusting, smashing and slashing,” said Truscott. “Students will learn to target hard, bony parts unless you are thrusting and then it’s soft parts.” The classes are for seniors, but they don’t necessarily need to use a cane on a regular basis.

“These skills are transferable to any club or stick-like object,” Truscott said. West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett said seniors are no more targeted in attacks than any other age group, but everyone can benefit from self-defence training.

“It’s good for any member of the public to learn self-defence,” Beckett said. “But people should carry a mobile device and call 911 in an emergency. Police officers are trained to handle these types of situations.”

The free classes are available on Saturdays to the end of October. To book a class, call Truscott at 250-474-5434.