Hi everybody I’m John Graden from the Martial
Arts Teachers Association and JohnGraden.com. How do you teach your children self defense?
I have a seven year old and a five year old and we’re dealing with this all the time.
In schools there is typically a zero tolerance for striking, even if it’s in self defense
your child could get thrown out of school, suspended, or disciplined for striking. So,
we want to make sure that we’re teaching our children how to protect themselves, but at
the same time not getting in trouble and especially not really hurting the other kid. Up until,
probably high school, it gets more serious, but when we’re talking about elementary school
age kids we’re talking mostly about school yard type tussles. We can help our children
to avoid these things. Number one: we want to make sure that they understand this is
self defense not self offense. They’re never initiating, they never take the roll of the
bully. I want to help them understand the damage of teasing and make sure that they’re
never participating in that. Number two; top of the list; you have to have an attitude
that nobody touches me without my permission. Nobody touches me without my permission. We
want to instill that sense of self worth into your children. So, mind set and mental attitude
are really the driving forces behind good self defense training. In terms of actual
physical techniques; joining me is Mr. Joe McNolley from Pro Star Mixed Martial Arts.
Here is what I teach my kids. I could teach them how to knock the kid out with one blow,
but what I want to do is help my child to get out of the situation as quick as possible.
So, whenever he’s grabbed I teach him to ask himself two quick questions. One, just grab
my shoulder please; what targets are available to me. I’m teaching my child what parts of
the body are more sensitive. It’s interesting, if you look at your body the outside of the
joint is typically a lot, is hard it can take punishment. The inside is usually pretty sensitive.
That applies here to the shoulder too, so one of the things that I tell my kids is if
somebody grabs you their arm pits are immediately open. Just reach under there and pinch their
arm pit. Most kids will let go instantly. Pinch the nipple, they’ll let go instantly.
You’re not striking, you’re not hitting, you’re not really causing that much pain, but what
I want this guy to experience is like he grabbed a hot pot and he wants to let go real fast.
It’s funny I taught this to my child, Alexander, and he just laughed. He had this kid who was
picking on him. I said just reach under there and pinch him under the armpit. He goes no
Daddy I’ll tickle him, he’ll let go, because he said; that’s the kind of nature I want
out of the child. I want him not to be interested in hurting people. I want him to be interested
in protecting himself, because nobody touches him without his permission. So, the two questions
I’m going to ask; what targets are available and then what weapons are available?. Typically
your hands are free and your legs are free. So, that’s my ideas on teaching self defense
to children. I’m John Graden. Thank you very much. I hope that helps.

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