Last weekend, I was perusing the newspaper when a small article caught my eye. Saturday, the KenPo and Kickboxing dojo was going to hold a children's self-defense class for free in conjunction with the police department. It sounded like a good idea, so I called and registered Z-boy.
Yesterday, we showed up a little early and got Z-boy's pictures and fingerprints taken. Then we went into the dojo proper to wait for the class to start.
Z-boy was fascinated by the punching dummies.
Finally, the owner of the gym started talking and explaining what they would be teaching the children. Z-boy looked at me and said he wasn't sure about doing this. I'm not sure if the idea of taking on an adult or just his basic shyness in new situations was the problem, but I told him it was important for him to learn this and that I would be here. The parents were then all whisked away to the outside to talk to the policeman who started this program (sorry Z!). This program started right after Carlie Bruscher was kidnapped and killed. He was sitting at home and watching the video and thinking to himself that SOMETHING had to be done... that kids don't really know how to react when approached by a dangerous stranger. He was friends with the gym owner and they put their heads together and came up with this idea. So far, they have trained over 2000 kids in our area. Now we can add mine to that number. After giving the history of the program and encouraging parents to continue with the physical training at home, we returned to the dojo.
Z practices punching with an instructor, then watches a demonstration with one of the students of the dojo and the owner.
When the parents got back inside, the owner of the gym explained what the kids had been told and then had them all line up to practice punching and kicking the other instructors. Yelling is a big part of this as well. Most of the kids were too shy to yell, but there was one little girl there who kept yelling "FIRE!" in such a piercing voice that I put my hands over my ears. That would deter an attacker all by itself! Even the official student who helped put on the demonstration didn't want to yell. Good God, people... YELL! That may stop an attacker short before you ever have to punch or kick them. Draw attention to yourself!
But the big event was the attack of the red-man. The redman suit is designed to protect the instructor from kicks and punches because the redman simulates a "real" attack. The victim stands there with their eyes closed and suddenly the redman attacks. The kids then need to use all the tools they've been taught to get away.
Z-boy gets last minute instructions before his "attack".
Z-boy performed admirably. He even got knocked down and kept right on kicking the redman before scrambling away. He was the only one who actually got knocked down and the instructor was full of praise for him because he didn't stop fighting back.
When it was finally over, Z-boy rushed over to me all flushed and panting and saying he LOVED doing this. KenPo is a self-defense martial art (which I think they ALL should be) and I was very impressed with the instructors. I believe we may be doing classes in this pretty soon. I would like to do some martial arts classes myself... A very productive afternoon!
On another note, my brother J and his roommate came to visit last night. I took them on a tour of the house and we visited for a while. I didn't know that J had done the remodeling downstairs for the former owner! He told me about it while we were doing the tour. Wow, that is so cool! More ties to this house. Might just have to buy it after all....
Brother J comes to town!
This afternoon, we're all going out to the farm for, you guessed it, BBQ. No snickering, you OLTA people. I shall do my best to keep it under control and still whip your butts!