Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Self Defense for Kids

By Ursula Madden - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - By about age four, children can start grasping the concepts of self-protection.

And while they may be small, they can learn a few easy moves to help protect themselves in a big way if someone big attacks them.
We went to Krav Maga instructor Patrick Terry for a crash course in self defense for children.  Terry will be the first to tell you: it's okay to fight dirty.

"Where's a good place to kick somebody?" he asked a student during a recent training class.  "In the groin, 'cause it hurts, right?' "

Terry shows students of varying ages how to kick, or even stomp on a would-be attacker.

"The stomping is if someone is getting into their space and they need to get loose," he said. "You stomp the foot at the shin; any part that will hurt them."

If an attacker tries to choke a child, there's a move for that too. Terry says the chock defense is centered around leverage.

"I will always be stronger than him," he said of a student he used as an example.  "But with his motion, he can make it so that there's no way I can hold on."

What if an attacker approaches a child from behind?

"If I come along and try to grab him, what he's going to do is going to get very small, and make it hard for me to hold on to him," Terry said.

According to Terry, it's a good idea to remind children that self defense isn't for minor disagreements with friends on the playground.  Instead, tell children it's about getting away from someone who is bigger or is trying to harm them.

To learn more about Krav Maga training opportunities in Memphis, click here:

For information on how to teach your kids basic self-defense, click here:

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.