Kids in an anti-abduction class Saturday learned how to defend themselves if a stranger were to try and grab them.
Many times kids are taught to put up their fists and try to fight off an adult predator or to simply run away. But that’s not always possible if the predator has a strong grip on them.
So Saturday, CFMAF (Calvary Family Martial Arts and Fitness) taught kids a much more effective technique that is easy to learn and remember.
Around 80 families took part in the free training that educates not only children, but their parents. This way both can practice skills they learn at home.
Instructors played out a scary scenario we hear about all too often: a stranger pulling up in a car and asking a kid to get in and help find a lost pet.
But now dozens and dozens of kids know how to say no.
“It's sad that nowadays you can't just send your kids to the playground and know that they are gonna be okay. So it's nice to know that he knows he can stand up for himself,” said Jackie Williams.
Williams’ 4-year-old son Cayman was one of the few kids teaching other kids what to do is a stranger tries to grab them.
“While punching is effective for older kids, the reality of it is when the kids are small, who is gonna hit harder? The kid or the predator?” said instructor Isaac Costley.
That’s why he taught these kids to not throw punches, but instead D.D.A. This stands for Delay and Draw Attention.
They can do this with a simple technique called “Grip, Dip, and Spin.” Basically the kids grab onto the predator’s legs and start yelling.
If they do it right, the kids can even knock the adult to the ground.
"It actually teaches the parents and child to delay and draw attention to the attack so that person cannot pick up the child, put the child in a vehicle, carry him or her away...other people's eyes are drawn to that attack so they can intervene on behalf of the child,” said Costley.
It’s an easy skill that children, even at the age of 3, can do.
"What do you tell that stranger? 'No!' Then you do what? Run and yell 'fire, fire fire.' Do you yell that really loud? Yes. And why do we yell 'fire, fire, fire?' Because that gets attention,” said Williams and her son Cayman.
Instructors also taught kids these easy to remember stranger danger rules:
-If a stranger approaches, take three steps back
-Tell the person NO
-Run away and scream “fire”, because that word draws the most attention
-Make sure you have a code word so your kid can tell if a person is a stranger or friend, and after someone uses that word, change it
These skills are being taught by these instructors at schools all across the community.
But with this class parents and kids can practice the skills together.
It’s free and will be offered the next three Saturdays: October 27, November 3, November 10.