Ten years ago, Colt Davis opened Stayton Self Defense to help others become physically fit.
“I wanted to help people learn how to defend themselves and lead healthier lives,” said Davis, who owns the business with his wife, Wanda, and friend, Brian Wiltse.
Davis holds a fifth-degree black belt in Kempo, a “stand-up” martial art that goes all the way back to the Shao-lin temple in ancient China. He also holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a green belt in Muay Thai kickboxing.
Today, 11 instructors reach out to the community through “health, nutrition, self-defense, family togetherness and all-around fun and fitness for all ages,” Davis said.
Martial arts instruction tones the body, strengthens the cardio-vascular system, and builds flexibility.
“We also teach people to respect themselves and others as well as how to talk to people in different situations,” he said. “That translates into doing job interviews or standing up in front of people when talking. These attributes help in every aspect of life.”
Davis said the business adopted a new focus with its new school system, Martial Arts Defense Systems, and opened a second school in Lincoln City. Between the two schools, there are 14 instructors teaching classes and private lessons for students age 4 to in their 90s.
For Davis, watching a client, especially a child, overcome shyness or better deal with anger is a highlight of teaching.
“To see them grow up and handle themselves well is huge for me,” he added. “The camaraderie, too. Stayton’s self-defense world is like family. People treat each other very well.”
Davis’ goal is to continue to grow and share martial arts with the community.
“We have more diversity now than we used to,” he said. “We can cover anything anyone wants to do – kick-boxing, women-only cardio training, kids and peewee classes. We even have a class for Christians. And we’ll soon be starting again our competition class.”
A recent move to their present location at 1171 N. First St. makes Stayton Self Defense more easily accessible, a plus for their clients, Davis said.
“We’re in the same parking lot as Stayton Sports and Ixtapa,” he said.
“We’ve enjoyed serving Stayton for the past 10 years, and hope to serve for years to come,” he added. “We love this community!”
For information on Stayton Self Defense, visit www.madefensesystems.com or call 503-767-4440.