Commentary: The ABC’s of Self-Defense |

Commentary: The ABC’s of Self-Defense


WHO: Action Awareness and PARTNERS Family Resource Center present

WHAT: Street Sense, Smart Self-Defense for fourth and fifth-graders

WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, pre-registration required by today

WHERE: Gold Country Kuk Sool Won, 127 Argall Way in Nevada City

COST: $15, includes workbook. Call 530-913-9608 to register


Most parents are deeply concerned about their children’s safety, which is why many now consider enrolling children in self-defense classes.

However, some parents feel that self-defense classes may create unforeseen problems for their children.

Children who take classes might worry more than is necessary or feel unsafe or distrustful of others after taking self- defense classes. But, it’s important they know how to cope if they find themselves in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.

The key is to find a class that creates a healthy balance between teaching a child how to be safe without scaring the child.

By empowering our children, we raise them to be safe and confident.

While it is unlikely that a child would have the physical strength or skill to get away from an adult, there are still several simple techniques that can be used to make it more difficult for the perpetrator to abduct or the bully to abuse by increasing assertiveness.

Action Awareness Training approaches sensitive personal safety issues while building a foundation of self-awareness and respect for self and others.

The ABC defense focuses on prevention and prevention is our No. 1 defense.

Awareness uses all of the senses to pay close attention to both the details in our environment as well as what emotions the child feels internally.

Self-awareness exercises encourage children to listen to their instincts and trust their intuition which helps to decipher the difference between what is right and wrong, what is safe and what is dangerous.

Body Confidence is being proud of who you are. By practicing powerful body language skills, and simple, age appropriate self-defense techniques, children can learn to move with confidence. A happy, self-confident child is less likely to be a victim.

Courage is the mental and moral strength that helps us face uncertainties, fear and danger. Courage grows by learning verbal and physical skills that can prevent an attack as well as defend against physical threats.

It takes courage to make a positive choice, it takes courage to stand up for what you believe, it takes courage to use your voice and shout, “I am strong, I have a good heart, I am worth defending.”

It is never too early to foster open and positive communication with children about the important issues of personal safety and building strong character.

The truth is, you can’t always be there to protect them. At some point they have to go to school, the playground or a friend’s house. Teaching them to be alert to the world and in touch with their feelings is the best protection we can give them.

Lila Reyna is a third-degree black belt, award-winning author and mother of three. She founded Action Awareness Training in 2000; specializing in women’s and children’s personal safety and empowerment.Reyna co-owns Gold Country Kuk Sool Won with her husband, Tony. For information on upcoming AAT workshops and Street Sense book orders, visit

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