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Old 01-15-2006, 11:21 AM   #26
senshincenter
 
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:

I also taught a self-defense program called Aikikids because I believe kids can learn SD techniques..to use their own voice as a strategy, to make themselves hard to hold onto and what parts of the human boddy hurt the most when they must use a strike.
Mary,

Thanks for the post. Have you seen that new DVD put out by the creator of "Baby Einstein" (Julie Clark) and by John Walsh?

https://www.thesafeside.com/

The DVD was based on the expertise of several people in the field of child crime, child safety, law enforcement, etc. Anyway, at the beginning of the DVD, they have this black belt kid kicking butt in his karate class - against his instructor, against bags and shields, against boards, etc., and then they have him face off against what they call a "don't know" (a person the child doesn't know). As one, or at least some, can imagine, the "don't know" just picked him up like he was nothing. The kid was probably about 8 years old - sorry if I'm not clearly remembering this, it has been a while since I have seen the DVD. The point of this demo was to show parents what experts in the field already know, but what goes counter to a lot of the claims of child martial arts industry: Children cannot fight off an adult attacker.

I understand the logic of vulnerable targets, but so too does any predator (in this case, children being the prey). Thus, for example, it's not that kicks to the groin do not hurt, nor is it that pokes to the eyes do not hurt, it's that this is next to impossible for a child to strike in a combative situation (let's say I'm thinking about 3 to 12 or 14 year olds here). This is the claim of the DVD and of all of the experts in the field that were used to put out this production. (This is also in line with my own position.) Hence, the DVD goes on to instruct more on prevention, awareness, and the gaining of assistance - such that children do not end up having to fend off an attacker in a one on one situation. I find this to be a very responsible take on the issue of keeping children safe from adult predators. For me, if one wants to keep the term "self-defense" when it comes to children, it should mean only this (i.e. involving no "techniques" for fighting, defending oneself physically, combat, etc.). However, it is better to just drop the word and keep these other terms: prevention, awareness, assistance.

Anyway, I take it that you have some other sources that are saying something different. I'd like to be able to read or see those so that I can understand other positions that are also out there. Would you mind letting me know where I can find these other sources that adopt the position that children can fend off an adult attacker, should learn to, and that "x" is how you do it. I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance,
dmv

Also - isn't it the case that the tiger cubs play is the adult tiger's hunt? Not so much that the tiger cub is expected or even attemps to fend of an attacker? Don't tiger cubs try and do the same thing as prevention, awareness, and assistance (by the mother)? Doesn't nature reach the same conclusion, outside of prevention, awareness, and assistance, should the cub be attacked by a predator, the cub is lost?

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:56 AM   #27
senshincenter
 
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

I did a quick search on the Net - this stuff is out there but I can't separate the supposed stuff from the junk.

Here's one place - and one example:

http://www.greatwarriorpak.com/selfdefense.htm

As I said earlier, I think this industry caters to the fear of parents - which is part of the fear that marks our overall spiritual poverty. Please take note of the following words - they read:

"Self-Defense for Kids - Learn Practical and Effective techniques to help you defend yourself
Produced by Grand Master Ho Sik Pak and Written by Ursula Escher

A life-saving book written FOR children that CHILDREN understand!

Inspired by all the tragic events shown on the news: Innocent children who get abducted and murdered by strangers. It's a fear that all parents feel, and that affects everyone.
Grand Master Ho Sik Pak and Ursula Escher have come to the rescue with a life-saving book that is easy for children to understand. The writing is short, simple and direct. The pages are very colorful and kids will learn by reading or by simply looking at the pictures."

Next go to this link:

http://www.greatwarriorpak.com/sd/samplepages.htm

Check out the pictures - see any realistic techniques for fending off an adult attacker? The reverse punches to the solar plexus and the top of the groin? The back-knuckle strikes to the head? What about that elbow to the jaw? Or how about that double-block to the inside of the roundhouse punch?

I don't mean to pull this guy out as THE example, but generally, it has been my experience that this is what you see. And I find it ironic that you get all this outcry against fake Aikido or fake martial arts, etc., and here you have an entire industry, one that keeps most adult programs financed, being more fake than anything anyone has ever seen in any adult program and there is barely a whisper of protest and/or concern. Aren't children supposed to be our most vital assets? Don't we care that they are being shoveled such delusions? What about just as consumers - aren't we upset that we aren't getting what we are paying for? Or how about as aikidoka - don't we care that in a lot of cases our own training is being supported by what can only be described as mere fraud? Where is the ethics in that?

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:18 PM   #28
senshincenter
 
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

Here's another one:

http://www.abcsofselfdefense.com/Saf...r_Children.htm

It reads, "For some situations, Self Defense may be the only way out. This Program instructs children on the best ways to handle an attacker. Most adult attacks on children involve the adult overpowering the child. Children need to know good Self Defense and Escape Techniques that will work in these situations. The Techniques in this program work!"

Then click on the hyperlink "Self Defense Sample" to download a pdf file of how a child is supposed to escape (yeah, right!) from an adult two hand wrist grab.

Oh, and here's the usual "fear" pitch:

"In the past few years, there have been many tragic events involving our young children. As a parent, I can only imagine how it must feel receiving such tragic news that my child has been hurt, abused, abducted or worse. We, as adults, must remember that all children are our responsibility. It is up to us to provide them with all of the information they need to survive when they are out on their own. And that is what the ABC's of Self Defense is all about: "HOW TO SURVIVE"."

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:26 PM   #29
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

Most child predators know the child...and don't physically harm them. The creep gains trust and then exploits the child. I am sure you know this.

For a child to know and practice saying no] to an adult and that it is okay to be rude are valuable lessons.

I mostly agree with you...I guess the difference is that I know that some of the things I taught my daughters helped them. Maybe they were too young but the things they knew and the conversations we had helped them in what happened to them and their feeling about it afterward.

You just never know what strategy might work. I think the perspective of keeping oneself open is good. SD can be taught without blaming choices made.

I especially agree with you about the fear factor as a marketing tool. I don't teach SD anymore because of the path that aikido has opened for me. But without my training and teaching of SD I could not be where I am today. I had a lot to heal from.
Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 01-15-2006 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:51 PM   #30
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

In terms of self defense against their peers, I ask my kids what they are afraid of and then teach them how to defend against it with one or two simple counters. The most common requests are the side headlock, the front one handed choke with a push, the two handed shove, the guillotine choke, and how to get up off the floor if someone pushed you and starts to kick or choke you. I have seen all of these things happen and more between kids. I try to be very gentle in my approach...some kids are really sensitive and the idea of "real" self defense is scary or even impossible. Also there's the consideration that the headlocker is an older brother or friend joking around, and not a real "attacker".

I agree with the "prevention, awareness, assistance" approach to defense against adults. You cannot defend yourself with your body too well against someone who can scoop you up with one arm.

Mostly I try to have fun and teach "cool tricks". And rubber suction cup ninja star training is always a good way to have some lighthearted fun.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:12 PM   #31
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Most child predators know the child...and don't physically harm them. The creep gains trust and then exploits the child...I mostly agree with you...I guess the difference is that I know that some of the things I taught my daughters helped them. Maybe they were too young but the things they knew and the conversations we had helped them in what happened to them and their feeling about it afterward...I especially agree with you about the fear factor as a marketing tool. I don't teach SD anymore because of the path that aikido has opened for me. But without my training and teaching of SD I could not be where I am today. I had a lot to heal from.
Mary
I can respect your post Mary - thanks for sharing that bit of personal information.

Yeah, for me, that is where those three things (prevention, awareness, assistance) come up - because of how much more common it is for the predator to be known, and hence how much more likely no real combat scenario is actually going to take place - at least not like these fear mongers are trying to sell. For me, outside of those three things, the real self-defense for children, and for women for that matter, is our adult program - where we men use our practice to mature our spirit, to cultivate virtues through which we can end or at least reconcile the abuse of power, the cycles of violence, the fear, the pride, the ignorance, that our own fathers passed on to us and that our culture validates (wrongly) in one way or another.

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:53 PM   #32
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

Thanks for the tips Mark. I still have the ATM issue in which your dojo was featured in the kids section.

There are a lot of issues here that pertain to both adult and kids classes, as evidenced by Dave`s story about the seminar. One thing I have been working with is martial movement without emotional content. We are taught from an early age to associate various negative emotions with attacking and being attacked. This was most clearly pointed out to me in my systema training. However it is also clearly part of aikido. Wendy Palmer has talked about Ikeda Sensei`s throws being "content free" for example. This is what I feel must be instilled into kids (and of course adults.) This is what happens when friends mess around with each other, similar to the tiger cubs, as Dave pointed out. When we learn to deal with emotion-less attacks, our confidence can increase. Then we will have the freedom to become and act like the good people we all are. At least I hope so!

Charles
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:19 PM   #33
RebeccaM
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

I think we all need to keep in mind that adults aren't the only people kids need to defend themselves from. In fact, I'd say a child is more likely to end up in a SD situation with another child than with an adult. Of course, it's not marketed that way. Maybe it should be. Self-confidence alone can help fend off bullies, and knowing you can hurt the bully does boost one's confidence.

Self-defense was one of the reasons I got nudged towards MA as a child. I think that it was more out of concern for what might happen when I got older though. Children aren't the only people that get attacked by adults.

The SD angle, realistic or not, is an easy marketing ploy so it gets used. It's not fair to anyone really.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:29 PM   #34
MaryKaye
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Re: Kids Program - What's yours like?

When we discuss self-defense against adults with our kids, the #1 message is "run." We show some ways to avoid being held, but I think the only thing we teach that will really help them is that they have a right to get away and should do so as soon as they sense something is wrong.

I think the more important lessons are about dealing with other kids. Taking turns being uke and nage is very powerful: it gets across, after a while, a message that there is no top dog and no bottom dog, everyone has to be willing to take whatever they dish out. We actively say to the younger kids, "Don't hurt him! Remember, he will be doing this to you next!" and while that is very basic, even crude, it's also an important lesson.

We also say, "Your uke is trusting you with his body so that you can learn. You have a responsibility to treat him well." The degree to which the kids are trustworthy with each other increases dramatically around yellow belt. It's good to see.

A final point that seems very practical: we talk a lot about "extend ki to partner" and one of the things that can mean is "Don't carry yourself like a bully or a victim." One of the kids' instructors is a great mimic, and makes them laugh by showing exaggerated body language--he has a hangdog way of standing that really makes me, as demo uke, want to hit him. Then he contrasts this with a confident friendly demeanor, and the difference is very clear.

Mary Kaye
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