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Big Bad Wolf II

August 18, 2011

It’s not everyday that you find yourself in a confrontation, or a stranger follows you down the sidewalk late at night. However, if this were to happen to any one of the students that were involved in the Pujols Family Foundation’s 2nd annual self-defense class, there is not a doubt they could handle themselves.

The Pujols Family Foundation teamed up with St. Louis Martial Arts Academy located in Ellisville and gave people with Down syndrome, 14 and older, an opportunity to receive basic self-defense training. For six weeks, 10 students came in and received lessons from Dwight Trower, who is a top martial arts instructor and trainer in the St. Louis area. Dwight taught them the basic fundamentals of: positive thinking, respect for authority, attention span and good manners. Along with teaching life lessons, Dwight also taught them how to handle themselves if they were ever in danger. From basic hand and shoulder grabs to one-on-one combat, every student made huge strides, week in and week out. You could see them gain confidence in handling themselves both mentally and physically.

Kaitlyn Trower, who has been taking classes from Dwight since she was five years old, was a great leader in showing her classmates proper form and leading by example. Her partner-in-crime and best friend, Emily Kramer, took Kaitlyn’s advice and used it to her full abilities. By the end of the session, she was using her powerful leg kicks and punches to push back her instructors. Lisa Mannion came into the class nervous and uncertain of how the day would unfold. However, once she became comfortable with her surroundings, she made huge strides and was one of the most enthusiastic people in class.

It was an amazing experience to watch these kids grow in front of your eyes. Every child had its own struggles and hurdles through the six-week course; however, with their dedication and hard work, everyone made improvements in every aspect of the class.

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August 18, 2011
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