Dragged Z-boy to KenPo tonight. He really didn't want to go, but I made him go anyway. While we were on our way to class, he mentioned that he'd been bullied today. A kid in another class had him up against the wall and was choking him in the bathroom. No apparent provocation. So I asked him if he reported it, and he said yes. I asked him if he used any of his defenses and he said no.
"Honey, that's why we take this class! So we can deal with people like that if we have to."
"But Mom, he was choking me with his arms TOGETHER." I had a hard time imagining this, but let him go on... "The front choke hold defense wouldn't have worked."
So when we got to the dojo, I took one of the instructors aside and told him about the incident. He took Z-boy aside and they practiced a new defense together that would deal with the held together arms. This is not one that Z would normally get for a while, but since the situation came up...
I also talked with the Master. A lot of times, when a kid is defending his/herself, THEY get in trouble, because THEY are the ones that actually took someone else down. Unless there's a witness to say definitively that the other guy was the aggressor, the defender often gets blamed for the encounter. I will say this... our Master is a man of integrity. If a child he has taught gets in that situation, he will come and talk to teachers involved and explain about the child's training. It is DRUMMED into them, this is a defensive art. You do not pick fights doing KenPo. All the moves are defensive and any counterstriking is used when an opponent keeps coming at you.
Z-boy and I talked again after class. I told him that he will NOT get in trouble with me if he is defending himself against a bully.
Z-Boy is very sweet and easy going. He's also a big kid and a challenge for bullies. The combination makes him a bully magnet. THAT is why he's taking this class.
On a happier, positive note, Z-boy, Darling Man and I will ALL be testing for our yellow belts a week from Saturday. Practice, practice, practice!!!!