Cops, community get kick out of training

Posted 3/5/09

Real estate agent David Dietz, a first-degree black belt, is looking forward to sparring with Lone Tree police officers. Lone Tree Police Chief Steve …

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Cops, community get kick out of training


Real estate agent David Dietz, a first-degree black belt, is looking forward to sparring with Lone Tree police officers.

Lone Tree Police Chief Steve Hasler and about 12 of his officers recently earned their camouflage belt, a rank that now gives them the right to begin sparring.

“It is like boxing, but with use of both hands and feet,” said Lynne Schlottman, 4th-degree black belt and owner of Lone Tree ATA Family Martial Arts Center.

The American Taekwondo Association is the curriculum utilized at the center, also known as Karate for Kids.

Mrs. Schlottman — or Mrs. S, for short —is what her martial arts students call her, due to the formal use of names at her school. As a former World Champion in sparring in 2004, they better call her whatever she wants. Schlottman in turn uses formal police titles as well, Officer Rogers, Detective Jones or Chief Hasler. All an important element encompassing respect and courtesy of martial arts training.

“Chief Hasler contacted me regarding training his group,” Schlottman said. “He said he wanted to have his group train at a facility that was family-friendly and part of the Lone Tree community.”

Hasler believes that when it comes to community policing, it is important to create relationships with the community.

“You have to know them and they have to know you,” Hasler said.

So the men and women in blue, put on their martial white doboks once a week for an hour and a half of dedicated tae kwon do training.

The idea of self-defense training came about because Hasler said the officers did not have weekly self-defense training available, and the yearly re-certification wasn’t adequate in his mind. When he started putting all the pieces together, the need for training, team building, and interacting with the community, it all seemed to fit.

“It builds confidence so as not to rely on weapons as much,” Hasler said.

Dietz, who started tae kwon do as a hobby with his children, agrees the training increases confidence. His daughters, Taylor, 10, Megan, 8 and Ashley, 7, were all on the shy side.

“They are all in leadership roles now, and get up in front of classes and help lead,” Dietz said. He added that his youngest daughter, “Just likes hitting things.”

As far as training with the officers, Dietz said that they have a great sense of humor and he enjoys having them in the school.

Schlottman’s school has designed specific training modules for the officers, and in her opinion it has strengthened her ability to teach relevant self-defense and situational awareness to her students.

“The police officers have unique job stress,” Schlottman said. “Our program allows them a healthy outlet to work off that stress.”

In her eyes, the officers benefit from working out with their fellow officers and bonding with the community.

Christopher Lank, CEO and founder of a software company, trains at the Lone Tree martial arts facility with his family.

“They are very competitive and determined to become great at tae kwon do,” Lank said about the officers. “This always makes for great classes together.”

Schlottman said working with Lone Tree police officers has been a great experience for everyone involved.

“The younger kids in the school are meeting the officers and learning they are cool role models.”


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