Our focus, as it is with adults, is to help kids develop the awareness and the skills be safe. Due to their smaller size and younger age, children are more vulnerable to adults and sometimes to other kids or youth.
Children need to be active so we play many games aimed at building their strength, developing their awareness, and establishing a fun learning environment. Sessions are structured 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, they 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 avoidance and escape are the best options
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: 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?