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What's the first rule in self-defense? Don't be there! It's that simple. If you are not in a dangerous situation, nothing will happen to you there. This is an easy rule to teach your kids. Ask your kids some questions.
Question: You know that dark alley two blocks away? What do you do to stay safe?
Answer: Don't go down it.
Question: What should you do if your friends put themselves in a dangerous situation (doing drugs or alcohol, fighting, etc.)?
Answer: Walk away. Get out of the situation immediately.
Question: Is a police officer or firefighter a stranger?
Answer: Yes! The definition of a stranger is someone you don't know, but most kids assume that this rule doesn't apply to the police and firefighters.
These questions and answers will help both you and your kids understand each other better, and you will both learn something about the first rule of self defense for kids. For the last question ask your kids for examples of dangerous situations they should walk away from.
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Most kids don't realize that the way they stand, walk and present themselves has a lot to do with self defense. Bullies and attackers are more likely to attack someone that already looks like a victim. These people walk with their heads down, they look at the ground, they are slouched and they are not aware of their surroundings. These people are easy targets to a bully or attacker, especially since they are not paying attention to what's going on around them.
So, what is a kid to do? Act like a winner! Walk with your head held high, eyes forward, back straight and walk with a purpose. Walking with a purpose just means walking quickly to where you are headed.
Kids also need to pay attention to their surroundings. What happens if you're not paying attention? When it comes to self defense for kids, it means not being able to recognize a dangerous situation. Being aware means you can get away in time.
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An important part of teaching your kids about self defense is opening up the lines of communication. The questions above will help. Continue to talk to your children about them. Let your kids know that it is okay to defend themselves, but that the best defense is to get out of the situation. If a classmate hurts them, for example, he should walk away from the situation and report it to a teacher.
If a stranger touches your child or hurts her, she should put her arms straight out in front of her with palms facing the attacker, and scream, "No! Stop! Leave me alone!". This informs everyone around them who the attacker is and who the victim is. It can also deter most bullies and attackers.
Talk to your kids about their day. Stay involved in their lives in any way you can. This can help a lot in protecting your kids. You should know what is going on in their lives so you can guide them in the right direction.
To get the most out of self defense for your kids, sign them up for martial arts or other self-defense classes.
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Matt Randall's Black Belt Academy
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