Elizabeth Smart launches self-defense program

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — 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. In 2002, when Smart was a teenager she was held captive and repeatedly sexually assaulted for nine months before she was rescued. Two years ago, Smart said she was sexually assaulted on an airplane two years ago while she was sleeping.

“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. “This is a tool that hopefully you can take, and you train and you practice it every day so that should you ever find yourself in that situation — which I hope no one ever does — then it is an option for you,” Smart said.

Smart Defense is available in Salt Lake, Riverton, and St. George. More information about enrollment.


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