Classes Teach Women To Defend Themselves


Angela and Wyatt Shepherd of the Payson Pankration Martial Arts School are doing their best to ensure women can defend themselves in any type of attack.

The husband and wife recently hosted a free seminar on self-defense that was designed to help women understand how to keep themselves out of compromising positions, and how to behave during attack scenarios and how to escape.


Angela Shepherd

The first seminar, held March 24, drew 20 attendees and was so successful, the Shepherds are offering follow-up Women's Fitness and Self Defense classes. The classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Both Shepherds teach the classes. Angela is an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America personal trainer and Wyatt is a Pankration black belt, with 10 years of martial arts experience.

"It's a great workout, plus you get the benefit of learning self-defense while losing weight," Wyatt said.

For those unfamiliar with Pankration Martial Arts, Wyatt explains it as "a hybrid martial arts system that has taken the techniques that actually work from all martial arts system and put them into one."

Pankration Martial Arts covers all facets of fighting and explores every possible scenario that could occur in a real-life fight -- from standing to clinching to take-downs.

Shepherd said about 90 percent of fights end up on the ground, so the main focus of self-defense should be ground moves.

He said both men and women can learn the techniques. In fact, experts believe Pankration is the most effective system of self-defense for women.

"It is now being taught to our armed forces as the preferred means of hand-to-hand combat," he said.

For more information on upcoming seminars call (928) 978-0879 or (928) 978-0631.

Barrels and poles

Payson Parks and Recreation Department is now hosting the 7D barrel and pole bending events that have proven popular the past several summers.

The 7D events, which began May 2, are scheduled for Wednesday evenings until July 25 at the Payson Event Center.

Some dates could be changed, due to holidays or the spring rodeo, Hunt said.

Competition begins at 6:30 p.m. at the PEC. Books open at 5:30 p.m. and there is an entry fee of $5 per event.

"This series will be a 7D format, where you will compete against time and not age groups," Hunt said.

At the conclusion of the series, awards will be presented.

Call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

Senior slow pitch softball

Are you 60 or older? Then come out for slow pitch softball and get some exercise. The Payson Cougars practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. at Rumsey Park 2. All skill levels are welcome. For more information, call Skip at (928) 472-2882.

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