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I'd like to find some content on teaching kids how to avoid and evade pervs and other abductors. While fathers are the first line of defense for the family, we simply aren't there all the time.
This summer, my oldest (10y/o daughter) and I are road-tripping across the US from WA to VA and back to visit her godparents. My kid is fairly responsible for her age so I've some ideas for teaching her what to look out for and what to do but some guidance would be really helpful for myself and other dads (and moms). She has also started to "develop" early and isn't that the exact opposite of what a dad wants to see...
To be clear, I'm teaching my daughter to: 1. Avoid problem areas 2. Run from danger 3. Hit unexpectedly fast and "hard" and then run.
For the purpose of our trip, I'm actually thinking of making/customizing and teaching her the use of a modified punch knife. The civilized part of me says, "That's a terrible idea...because...reasons." But the dad in me disagrees and can't think of a better way for her to deliver a quick hit that will enable her to break physical contact.
Pepper spray is as likely as not to be slow to deploy and get into her own eyes and I can't think of anything else that could have enough shock factor to have a good chance of making an aggressor break contact at her strength level. I figure I'll make a dull training model and see how she does with it.
Is there a better tool or method for a young...'gasp'...lady? I wanted something hidden, unexpected, and effective. I really don't care what it is or how modern or tacticool it is.
No smart phones or social media for our kids (boys or girls) at this point. We got our son a flip phone when he started working so he could call us when he was ready to be picked up. All the other stuff you've referenced is great and others can probably provide better guidance than I can on those aspects, but I also think keeping the enemy at bay in the electronic media side of things is of upmost importance. There are times when we see everyone else doing/accepting something in our society, and we can assume we have to do/accept that thing, as well. So maybe this is an encouragement to you or others: kids don't have to have smart phones or social media. God bless!
My old man came out of the security business and a lot of what I learned was practiced in the household and I try to do the same. Give them the tools when they are young and they will have them for a lifetime. I say go for it and let your daughter learn to carry a knife. If she becomes comfortable now it wont even be a second thought later.
Personally, I found the Reality of Criminal Assault series (WPSN) to be an excellent resource for personal safety. There is some strong language in it though, so use discretion in showing it to a ten-year-old. It may be better for you to watch it, then teach her what you learned.
As a female who was molested as a kid, I would actually recommend pepper spray over a knife. Knives are short-range weapons, and a young girl will not be fast enough or strong enough to deploy one against a grown man, especially if he is restraining her arms, and when taking into account a "freeze" response that often occurs with assault. Pepper spray is a better option if it's legal where you live. My little sister also carries a personal alarm by Sabre to use if she's in danger.
Edit: a knife is a useful tool to carry also, it certainly wouldn't hurt to train her with one. However, I think pepper spray is best as her primary defensive weapon. As a teen I always carried a knife, and I've carried pepper spray since 18 (state law).
If you have ever had the good fortune to experience pepper spray, OC spray, CS gas, ect., then you know how debilitating it can be. Yes, a person can fight through it, but I suspect that your run of the mill criminal will wither and be out of the fight within seconds. I'm a fan of defensive sprays for anybody who is not ready or able to be a concealed carrier.
I apologize in advance for the long post, Damon Ray. but perhaps its worth it.
Things I would recommend considering...
1) Training with a local organization that teaches children or young girls/women self defense. In a proper GROUP learning/training ENVIRONMENT, Children will gain not only some skills and good practice, but also confidence, better awareness, and true appreciation for situational and incidence awareness and response.
Maybe you can be instrumental in getting something happening at her school (see below), if that interests you.
2) Get her a personal alarm and some training in ways to take advantage with that.
3) Consider any special case needs, things like
- open palm hitting to hard targets, fist hitting to soft targets (so she does not injure herself if striking moves are learned),
- dealing with hair grabs
- dealing with head/neck restaint from behind
...I mean, you can go overboard, but also you can choose just a couple things, and ensure that with her training, she gets a couple extra tools if you feel that's important.
Personally, I wouldn't teach a child anything with a knife for fear they're gonna get cut.
Most important things for the kids I believe are situational awareness, some getting loose and away skills, with some other real basic procedures to fall back on, like this...
- keeping your head (that 'comes' in group training),
- managed reaction ("steps" their going to have in mind, which will be trained physical and voice responses at the outset of a situation),
- break & getting away skills and training,
- "where to get to" 'focus' (getting away to somewhere there are people) and how to remain safe after flight,
- calling for help, and ...
- (there's one other thing, and darn if I cannot think of it this moment!)
John and his wife have some Home defense with kids, kids and guns, etc videos you may wish to look for too, if that's in your wheelhouse.
Seriously, check this WHS Self Defense course out that Kethy Brophy put(/s?) on. It should give you some excellent insight and ideas.
Its a bit long, so you may wish to scroll through to different sections for a better feel of the scope of the presentation and efforts engaged. Very good info here:
I realize Mz. Brophy's thing is focussed with young high schoolers, but I think its valuable nonetheless.
If nothing else, you could seek out a rape counsellor and/or women's self-defense training locally ...They should have a bead on fair placement (a good local resource) for your young lady to get some general training at her level/pace.
If you consider placing her in a martial or other physical arts training center/course, be sure to watch that video, and speak with the instructor about your concerns over the kind of training you are seeking for her.
Its one thing for me to overwhelm you, an adult Dad, with a bunch of things to consider. However, we really want to avoid overwhelming the kids, and unwittingly rendering help ineffective. so we need to do our homework.
===== PS =========================
Some things I noted from Kathy Brophy's video....
- strong emphasis on verbal methods pre-confrontation and during (standing your ground modus)
- facing potential attacker (standing your ground modus)
- pre-confrontation hand/body gestures (standing your ground modus)
- looking around, especially post confrontation just before fleeing
- breaking most common holds from behind and in front, immediately followed by delivering blows
Prominent tactics employed
- lowering center of gravity
- tucking chin
- eye gouging
- ear slapping (should be in there)
- elbow blows to face
- kicking to groin
! - ensuring assailant is incapacitated 'enough' before fleeing (don't want to be chased right off the bat if you can help it)
- running for safety and the calling for help / 911
In a group learning/training environment a person, especially a child, will feel more safe, and "held". They will be better facilitated for exploring their limits, sorting through not only unique physical, but also mental and emotional challenges (unique to them). AND The instructors will be more readily facilitated for dealing with [potentially unexpected] reactions the students may have while engaged.
For instance (one of several), I note in Brophy's training there was a situation where a child got shook up. The environment with peers, as well as knowledgeable adult trainers, not only got her through (and to her confidence) expertly, but helped others as well.