With all that has occupied the news lately, you may have missed this story about a 10-year-old Philadelphia girl who fought off her would-be abductor.
Security camera footage shows the whole, quick incident. The girl and her 2-year-old brother are walking down a sidewalk in the middle of the afternoon. You can see people on their porches that the kids were about to pass. But, suddenly a man comes up behind the kids and picks up the girl. Within seconds, he puts her down, then leaves.
The girl had bit him, screamed, squirmed, and made herself heavy, in that center-of-gravity-changing way that little kids have mastered. And it WORKED. She was too much trouble, about to attract too much attention for this guy.
Now, I can’t even begin to address the abductor part of the equation, it makes me so crazy. That some guy would attempt this, with an even tinier kid next to her to boot, makes me livid. But that is a given.
What I want to talk about is this girl, who had no training, but told police she knew what to do because she remembered it from an episode of Law & Order. I certainly don’t think it’s the best idea for small kids to be watching police dramas, but I’m damn glad that girl saw what she did. She saw it, it stuck, she remembered it in a stressful situation, and it WORKED.
Despite her age and size, and even with other adults visible, this girl saved herself. She didn’t use any fancy karate moves—she didn’t know them, and she didn’t have to. Simple, instinctive techniques such as screaming, wiggling, biting, kicking, making yourself heavy (“basing” for my Krav friends) WORK.
Your kids can learn and practice these things in km-X™ classes (Krav Maga kids’ program) in a fun, non-threatening environment. They can learn similar things in a traditional karate class. At the very least, they can learn from you if you have a conversation with them.
But however you do it, equip them. Help them have a game plan—you can keep it light, without terrifying them. Parker wrote a great blog post about teaching kids self-defense. Read it!
And if you want to explore Krav Maga for your kids, check out the great programs at Fit and Fearless here.
See you (and your kids) in class!