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Thursday, June 4, 2015

girl power

one of the moms on my local facebook page put out an invitation to host a free "stranger danger" class at a nearby jiu jitsu academy.  while the bean is more than old enough to know the basics about not talking to strangers, i figured that it wasn't a bad idea for her to learn how to handle herself should, god forbid, the need ever arise.

we picked up my co-leader's daughter on the way, and they were both excited to have each other to hang out with for the class.  they definitely looked ready to be aggressive, didn't they?

inside, the kids were all gathered together for a quick introduction to their instructors before starting a game of "boulder dash" - they ran laps around the room while avoiding the giant exercise ball that was tossed their way.  if the ball touched them, they had to scurry to the corner and do 5 squats.  it looked like a fun game, while getting the kids nice and warmed up.

i mean, after all...

they did a little more warming up with the jump rope, and then the class began.

the instructor spent a good bit of time explaining situations where they might need to use their self-defense skills.  he gave them several scenarios and basically taught them that if someone was trying to forcibly take them, the best thing to do is to be as loud as possible to attract attention from anyone nearby.  their first exercise involved trying to get help from someone who might not be taking them seriously - he wanted them to use their voices in a forceful and serious way.  a few of the kids were a little shy about it, speaking in low voices.  and because my kid tends to be on the cautious side, i wasn't expecting her to walk up to the dude and really get down to business.  aside from the one kid who looked to be about 12 or so, she was the loudest one in the room.  no one was expecting it from her, and she looked pleased and proud of herself as she glanced my way with a smile.

you know how when we were kids, they told us to yell "fire!" and "help me!" if something bad was happening?  here, the kids were taught to yell things like "call 911!" "he's trying to take me!" and my personal favorite, "he's not my dad!"  they did another exercise where the instructor went to pick them up to drag them away and they were to try their hardest to wriggle away, drop to the floor, kick at their shins and knees, and crab-walk away before getting up and running as fast as they could.

all in all, it was a great experience for the kids.  they learned some valuable tips, and maybe felt a little empowered by the exercises they'd all done.

except, of course, now i'm being bombarded with phone calls, voice mails, and emails from the staff at the academy.  yes, i know you have summer camp.  yup, i got the flyer with all of your class information.  and uh-huh, i realize that you're running a bunch of specials right now.  i get it.  but at the end of all of your messages, you say "let us know if you need more information."  to me, that means that you should leave me the hell alone unless i call you.  ugh.  apparently, it's my turn to use my voice in a forceful way, eh?


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