Elizabeth Smart Kicks Off Self-Defense Program

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

When Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, the entire nation held its breath. In truth, a lot of people figured after a while that we’d never find her alive. That’s just not how it goes when young girls are kidnapped, or so it seems.


However, she was recovered. She was found and returned to her family after a horrific ordeal.

In truth, few can relate to what Smart went through, even most other kidnapping and rape survivors. Yet Smart not only survived, but she’s also now trying to take steps to help make sure no one else becomes a victim.

Utah kidnapping and rape survivor Elizabeth Smart has launched a self-defense training program.

Smart, 33, said she wants to give women the skills to fight back if needed, FOX 13 reported.

“It’s about teaching women and girls how to protect themselves,” Smart said Saturday at the launch of the program. “It’s a little bit different than just a series of movements. It talks about situations and scenarios.”

The program, called Smart Defense, is a blend of several mixed martial arts, said program director Miyo Strong.

Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002 and sexually assaulted repeatedly was also reportedly the victim of another sexual assault two years ago while sleeping on a plane.

To say she’s had it rough would be an understatement. Frankly, I’m glad to see her taking steps to be proactive about her safety, though I sincerely pray she never needs any of it.


Now, many of our usual readers would tell Smart to get a firearm, and I think that’s good advice. However, let’s also remember that not everyone can access a firearm or carry one wherever they may need to. If you’re under 21, for example, a concealed carry permit is likely not in the cards for you. If you’re under 18, it’s definitely not.

Frankly, everyone would benefit from some degree of combatives training, which is pretty much what Smart Defense sounds like. It’s just one focused on women, which is also a good thing because they’re likely to face bigger attackers, so they need techniques that play to that, not ones that might work and might not.

The truth is, no one should have to endure what Elizabeth Smart endured. No one at all. It’s one of the reasons I have guns, to at least try and protect my family from having to endure it ourselves.

But I do want to say that Smart has definitely made the best of the situation. While she doesn’t try to grift over it, unlike some folks, she has made it a focus of her life and she’s worked hard to try and help keep other people safe. Not everyone could take such an approach, and I applaud her for doing just that.


Now, she’s offering up a proactive solution. That’s good.

However, I also hope the Smart Defense instructors note to students that it should just be the start, that one must constantly hone their skills if they want them to be there should they be needed.

Still, some training is generally better than no training, so long as the quality is there. In too many cases, fighting back saves lives, so I wish her luck with her new program.

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