Identifying threats and knowing how to respond is focus of self-defense training business
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REXBURG — As a lifelong student of edged weapons, Tae Kwondo and Jiu-jitsu, Rexburg native Robert Wylie has been teaching self-defense practices for many years.
He and his wife, Catrina, have helped many friends and neighbors in abusive or other threatening situations. They believe self-defense or preparedness skills are beneficial for everyone to know, and they want to be able to help more people.
So it made sense when, in 2019, they decided to launch a business called DPPDefense (Daily Practical Personal Defense) to teach these skills to businesses, schools, church groups and other organizations in eastern Idaho.
“We have a Facebook page and we do events there and we’ve had hundreds of people respond that they’re interested. We commonly get people saying, ‘This area needs that.’ It’s definitely a needed thing. There are some people who are totally amazed that we’re not martial artists,” Robert tells EastIdahoNews.com.
In fact, the Wylie’s only teach basic strikes and their ultimate objective is to help people avoid getting in a situation where they’d have to be combative.
They teach a foundational practical personal defense class that covers basic skills and they help their students identify threats in their environment from home invasions to natural disasters. They also teach people how to react to predators, whether it’s a person or a bear, dog or another animal.
In the video above, Robert addresses what you can do the next time you encounter a vicious dog.
“The basic targets that we teach and how to strike them are very simple. They utilize the body’s natural responses … that your subconscious will automatically (trigger) when a threat has been manifested,” he says.
Catrina deals specifically with home security audits and helping with emergency plans during a natural disaster or responding to an injured person.
“I grew up in a family that was very emergency preparedness-minded. My dad was an EMT. We dealt with a flood when I was a kid and so that’s been part of my life and something that’s always interested me,” Catrina says.
Robert and his wife don’t have a specific building they operate out of, though they would eventually like to have their own space. Since they typically teach small groups, they will usually come to the client and host a class in whatever venue is convenient for the customer.
Many people have misconceptions about specific self-defense practices, Robert says, and he often spends time clearing those up so that people don’t put themselves at risk.
“In martial arts, for example, there are certain moves you can’t do (in a competitive setting),” Robert says. “When you’re training and you drill it in your head that you can’t hit certain spots, it’s like tying your hands behind your back (in a self-defense situation).”
If you’re with a young child and you come in contact with a dog, Robert explains in the video the instinct to pick up your child is not a smart move because it could provoke an attack. Depending on the situation, it leaves your body vulnerable to an attack. The best way to protect yourself and your child, Robert says, is to put the child behind you and face the dog.
The business already has a footprint from central Utah to Boise, but the couple is hoping to spread even farther. They’ve written a book together called, “Defense Against Frogs, Dogs and Humans and Everything in between.” It is slated to be published in early 2022.
“We just want to reach out there and make people aware of this and bring them into this training so that they can even share little tidbits with their friends,” says Catrina. “Our little towns aren’t little anymore just because of transportation availabilities and the internet. All of that is spreading a lot of stuff that our young people and adults need to understand.”