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Richard Wilkinson

Self Defense Tips from IAMA

Impact America Martial Arts
1901 Preston Park Blvd. * Plano, TX 75093
Self Defense Tips
1.       Pay Attention to EVERYTHING!!
a.       Don’t walk looking at the ground.
b.       Don’t depend on Mom or Dad for your personal protection.  They get distracted too.  It takes the entire family to ALWAYS pay                     attention about safety.  Take responsibility.
c.        Look in the back seat of your car before you get in.
d.       Check under your car before you get in.
e.       When you walk in the house, inspect it!  Go in to every room and check windows and doors before settling in.
f.         When walking to your car, look underneath it before you get there.
g.        Always look around you for people that make you uncomfortable.  If you are uncomfortable, leave the area.  Do NOT stay if you                  feel uncomfortable.  Find a parent or move to an area where you feel safe.

2.       Don’t be afraid to hit someone (a stranger or someone trying to take you away from mom or dad)
a.        You have to get away NO MATTER WHAT!  You won’t get in trouble for hitting if you only use your hits to escape.
b.       Look for things around you that could help you escape….a stick or rock or anything that makes the person let you go.
c.        Yell, Scream, and make as much noise as you possibly can to attract attention so people will know that they need to help.
d.       Fight, wiggle, scream, kick, punch, bite…do whatever it takes to make them let you go.

3.       After you escape, find help
a.        Look for a worker or someone that can help you.  Police officers, firemen anyone that works for the store or facility that you are in. 

Basic Techniques
1.       Palm
2.       Elbow
3.       Knee
4.       Front kick
5.       Back kick
6.       Bite
7.       Head butt
1.       Eyes
2.       Knees
3.       Groin
4.       Ears
5.       Neck
Parent Tips for Self Defense
1.        Train!!  Get involved with martial arts!  A cool ‘by-product’ of training is that it raises questions about what you would do in self-                  defense situations. 
2.       Develop a ‘Family Policy’ about self-defense.
3.       Discuss news items with your kids. 

Participate in a Self Defense class.  Ongoing is best because it KEEPS your mind on personal protection.  Training lets you know how the body works….Knowing the body’s weaknesses and strength is VERY important.

Family Policy
In business, a policy is defined as ‘LAW’.  Once the policy is set businesses do not bend from policy.  Business doesn’t care if the policy is right or wrong.  If a business bends its policy, it sets a precedent that will ultimately hurt the business.

Family policy should be set up with the same perspective as a business.

The perspective on this is to have a plan….a default method or response.

Here are some suggestions:
1.       Pay Attention to everything.  Look around. Make eye contact.  Walk with purpose.  Be responsible for your own protection.

2.        It’s O.K. to hit.  We all teach our kids that It’s not ok to hit other people.  However, when they are attacked, it IS ok.  This sends a                conflicting message to a child.  The difference lies in ‘Judgment’.  So, we have to tell them stories (from the newspaper or news              broadcast or a book or online stories that we find) to help prepare them.  Kids are scared they will get in trouble if they hit, so they            hesitate.  Hesitation is devastating in a self-defense situation.  We have to set the policy so that we remove hesitation.
Wilkinson family policy is ‘Hit first, Hit hard and apologize if you need to’.  If they (attacker or even a friend that is playing around) don’t want to be hit, don’t make us feel threatened.  We HAVE to establish the boundaries. 
3.        If you are attacked, what do you do next?   If in a store, find a clerk.  If in a neighborhood, find a neighbor.  As a parent you want to answer the questions: “What should they do after they get away?  Who should they talk to or seek out?  What number should they call?”  Does your child know your phone number, Address, First name?
Basically, you have to have three areas to think about:  1. Before an attack 2. During an attack 3. After an attack.  You have to answer ‘what am I supposed to do?” with all three areas. 
Again, the best thing is to enroll in an ongoing martial arts program.  There is NO substitute for the life skills a good martial arts program establishes.
News Articles
Not too long ago there was a video circulating in the news.  There was a 7 year old girl looking at the toys at Wal-Mart.  Her mother was just a few isles over.  A guy walked up and grabbed the girl and picked her up and tried to carry her out of the store.  That 7 year old girl fought and screamed and kicked and threw such a fit and fought so hard that the guy put her down and ran out of the store.  The video cameras caught it all on tape.  The man was arrested.

The moral of the story – It doesn’t matter your size…..just fight hard to get away.  That little girl did all she could to fight back..and won!
We want the kids hearing stories of success and never giving up.  

In closing…
It’s important to talk with your kids about different self-defense situations and how to deal with them.  My dad always used the news to let me know that ‘bad things’ were out there.  I have done the same things for my own children. 

I tell the students of IAMA those stories to let them know what is out there and how to deal with it.

It’s always helpful to have a ‘Family Policy’ in place so that kids have a frame of reference about what to do if they ever find themselves in those situations.

August 4, 2013