What do you get when you combine a two-time United States Olympic distance runner, a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and a strong passion to help others? Enter Todd Williams, the only individual in the world to hold these two titles simultaneously and his program, RunSafer, created from his passion to “bring self-defense to the runner.”
Last week, Asics, Fleet Feet Sports and Charleston Running Club sponsored three RunSafer Workshops with Todd Williams, hosted at Fleet Feet Sports Mount Pleasant. My friend Ellen and I had the chance to attend the last session of the day and were more than impressed with the helpful and memorable tips the workshop provided in such a short amount of time.
Each session lasts one hour and is designed to teach you safety techniques and tips to help protect yourself in a dangerous situation. Todd started the workshop with a list of Safety Tips, explaining each tip and giving real-life examples of times to put them to use.
One of the main points I left with was to always be aware and prepared and to think of the techniques more as self-offense rather than self-defense (Dad you’ll appreciate this—one of his direct quotes was to “keep your head on a swivel” :) ).
Todd also demonstrated a grip breaking technique, among others, and pointed out the “targets” you should aim for on an attacker. You can see a few more of the techniques he showed us here.
As a follow up, Todd was kind enough to answer a few questions for me to share with you all:
1. What has been your biggest accomplishment with RunSafer so far--what has made you stick with it despite your rigorous session schedule?
My biggest accomplishment is starting RunSafer and enjoying the whole process. I really enjoy what I do and I feel I’m making a positive impact on many lives. My advice is to try and find something you truly have a passion for and make a living with it! I stick with it because I love working at something I truly believe in. I've spent the majority of my life working hard in running and martial arts so every day is a good day—even the rigorous ones!
2. What is one piece of running advice you'd give to runners of all skill levels?
Enjoy the process no matter who you are or what level. Running is a sport where it truly is 'you versus you'. Work smart you’ll see results!
3. Where can I go to further my self-offense education locally?
Chekmat Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but always check the school out and enjoy the instruction.
I genuinely enjoyed the workshop and feel more educated and prepared to protect myself while doing something I love. Todd's energetic personality makes it fun and I'd highly recommend taking a RunSafer workshop if one is ever offered near you. Huge thanks to Todd for what he is doing to help keep us safe and to Fleet Feet Sports Mount Pleasant for hosting the event!
For more information and the locations of upcoming workshops, check out the RunSafer website or follow Todd on Facebook and Twitter. Also be sure to visit Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant’s site or like them on Facebook for local running community updates.
Thanks for reading!
Have you ever participated in RunSafer or another self-defense class? What did you think? I'd love to hear!
As a note, this is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.