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      The Basics of Self Defense

      So, you’ve decided that your child is ready to learn something about self defense. Where should you start? What kind of skills and behaviors does your child need to know for adequate self defense and safety and where can they get them?
      As a parent you may already be personally skilled in the art of self defense and understand the principles of personal safety. If this is true for you then you have probably already shared your knowledge and skills with your child and may be participating in a formal martial arts or self defense program yourself.
      If not, here are a few tips for helping your child to learn and develop these skills for themselves:
      • Develop a plan with your child. Rehearse commonly unsafe conditions with them and help them to learn how to use appropriate responses like running away and telling a trusted adult, yelling loudly or fighting back.
      • Ensure that your child has several trusted contacts and safe places to call or run to in the event of an emergency situation or unsafe condition. Help them to memorize phone numbers and addresses.
      • Identify and teach your child several basic physical self defense moves to use if they are being attacked like kicking or punching.
      • Sign them up for a martial arts training program in your area. Most martial arts schools incorporate safety awareness, stranger awareness and simple physical tactics for dealing with an attack as a part of their program.
      The basics of self defense and personal safety really begin at home so, as a parent, you are your child’s first, best teacher and role model. You might consider enrolling your entire family in a good martial arts program to ensure a consistent and supportive environment in which you can all learn to practice good habits for safety and self defense.
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      Bully This

      Safety is a topic high on every parent’s priority list. We all worry about the safety of our children in an uncertain world where danger lurks around every corner and we may feel inadequate to provide them with the necessary training for self defense.

      The question is how can I help my child to develop the skills and the judgment they need for adequate self defense and safety? How safe is safe?

      When we talk about safety and self defense an overwhelming list of hazards crowd the picture and we may not know where to start. Food safety, fire safety, gun safety, playground safety, stranger awareness, and the list goes on.

      We can’t protect our children from every scratch, fall or insult and we can’t prepare them to deal with every situation with which they might be faced.

      But when we get right down to it one safety topic heads the list in every parent’s mind. Stranger awareness. Does your child know what to do if approached by a stranger say, in the playground, at the mall, or in the park?

      Practice role playing with your child. Teach them what to say if a stranger tries to give them a ride home from school, for instance, or tries to buy them a treat. As them to tell you what they would do or say in a variety of situations and help them to memorize phone numbers and addresses to use in an emergency or unsafe situation.

      It may even be wise to test their behavior by asking someone the child doesn’t know to act out one of these scenarios with your child. You might be surprised at their response and it can help you to identify areas that need reinforcement.

      How safe is safe? The safety of your child in every potential situation relies on their ability to be aware of their surroundings and to make the right decision when they need to act in their own self defense. We can’t control our children’s safety 100 percent of the time but we can help them to acquire the skills necessary to help maintain their own safety.

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