Raven Pruden didn’t hesitate when given the chance the go back to school this month. But the local resident didn’t have to worry about books and lockers. Instead, he had to simply re-familiarize himself with the hallways of local high schools.
Pruden, a sensei, facilitates a youth program for Kwalicum and Ballenas secondaries. It’s a sort of reunion for him, as he was an instructor for the KSS Jiu Jitsu club in 2006/07, and has since worked with other Oceanside youth programs.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Pruden said after he was approached earlier in the year by Debbi Robinson, who developed a non-contact boxing basics program at KSS and asked if he would lead it.
“Of course I said yes. This is about engaging our youth, giving them confidence and responsibility,” he said.
The program won’t see any boxing rings erected in any of the schools anytime soon. The non-contact program focuses on technique and fitness conditioning without the actual sparring, or sport matches.
“This is about balance, breathing and motion,” the Jiu Jitsu black belt explained. Students gain many benefits from this type of training, both mental and physical.
“It helps develop dexterity and fitness, which, combined with a healthy diet, can add years to a person’s life, even if you were to start at age 60. Imagine the benefits for a teenager.”
The program is a natural one for Pruden. When he isn’t volunteering his time with youth programs, he is helping his Oceanside clients get fit as the owner and operator of Engage Fitness.
For more information, call Pruden at 250-821-8459 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.