Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kids Self Defense: What Do We Teach?

Our focus, as it is with adults, is to help kids develop the awareness and the skills to get home safe.  Due to their smaller size and younger age, children are more vulnerable to adults and sometimes to other kids or youth.

Children tend to need to be active so we play many games aimed at building their strength, developing their awareness, and establishing a fun learning environment.  More so than adults, the program requires structure to facilitate a setting where learning is possible.

Here are some of the things children learn.

Awareness:  Children are often engrossed "in the moment" - whatever activity or game they are engaged in.  This is fantastic and endearing but can also hinder awareness.  Through various games and exercises we develop awareness of their surroundings.  Where are the exits?  How many people are in the room?  Point to three rectangular shapes, red objects, etc.....    Through these games kids learn to observe and assess their surroundings - vital aspects of self defense.

Avoidance and Escaping:  Active kids can be very evasive, agile, and quick.  These are important qualities as being smaller than adults or youth they have a distinct size and strength disadvantage.

Anti-bullying:  Bullying comes in various forms and can be very unsettling or traumatic for kids.  We teach kids how to use their voice, how to disengage from grabs, and explore who to talk with - parents, teachers etc.. to stop the problem.

Using Verbal and Body Language:  Body language can say a lot.  Putting your hand up, palms facing the aggressor says stay away and also shows witnesses that you want distance.  Statements like "stay away" or in more dangerous situations "help!" are taught as useful tools.

Self Confidence:  In many ways this is less tangible. When students learn techniques, and their improvement is highlighted it contributes to their self confidence.  We see this as week, months and years pass.  It is very inspiring.

Fitness: Kids need to express their physical energy and we do our best to tire them out - temporarily.  They recover so fast don't they?

This offers an overview of what we teach.  In an upcoming blog we will explore bullying and the techniques and exercises of our our curriculum's first level.

Here is a blog about our program from one of the parents.

Stay safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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