I was privileged this past month to do a self-defense class for a group of about 20 young girls between the ages of 12-14. I was assisted by several talented female black belt students from my school. It was a wonderful evening being able to coach and hopefully empower these young women. Only a couple of the girls in the class had done some previous Martial Arts training. Not one was currently enrolled in a program.

I was quite surprised at this statistic. Martial Arts today is very popular and there are so many schools, making it very accessible to a large audience. Yet in this class, no one was taking Karate or any other type of Martial Art. Parents, I urge you to empower your daughters.

For this age group, these young ladies are becoming more independent. They are frequently out on their own or with their friends around the neighbourhood. Many of them take city transportation to & from school and to other activities around the city. Parents are not by their side for ‘play dates’ anymore. Some of them have even started to ‘date’.

I am a parent myself, and want to give all of my children the tools to help them grow to become productive members of society. Many parents feel this way. This is why we make our children do their homework, help out around the house, perhaps volunteer, take them to sporting activities or classes to produce a well-rounded person. How about giving our children tools to protect themselves?

Martial Arts training can benefit people of all ages of course. However, by nature of their age, gender and size, our young ladies are more vulnerable than our young men. They are often an easy target for an attacker. Remember, an attacker can be an acquaintance, not just a stranger. Don’t we want to give our daughters the confidence to stand up for themselves and some training to fend off an assault?

Of course the answer is YES! So please parents, give your daughter the gift of safety. Enroll them in Martial Arts. Take them to a self-defence class or two. Go with them, then you can practice some techniques and review some safety tips before they go out with their friends.

This month I am demonstrating a technique where you are being struck with a baton. A baton could be anything such as a bat, a stick or an umbrella.

Strike

• The attacker holds the baton with both hands like a baseball bat to swing at your head
• Please notice my hands are already up preparing to block

Block

• The attacker swings at your head
• In this picture, the attacker is right-handed, so his attack is coming from that direction
• This technique will work right or left.
• Quickly block the attackers swing on their wrists/arms
• This is important – I have moved in to catch the block on the attackers arms instead of blocking the baton itself
• Blocking the baton could be very painful and less forgiving than the arms of the attacker

Distract

• Immediately counter the attackers strike with a punch to the solar plexus
• I am trying to knock the wind out of my attacker
• If you are in closer you could use an elbow to the ribs, or you could chose to use a kick to the groin or knee
• As I counter, I am still guiding the attack away from my face to the side

Arm Up

• After the distraction, keep your blocking hand in contact with the attackers arms
• It continues to push the attackers arms down and to the side
• Raise your other arm up

Arm Over

• That same arm now is going over the close arm of the attacker
• Notice my other arm/hand is still touching the attacker
• I have brought his arms close to my side, but away from my face where he can not strike effectively with the baton

Arm Under

• This is difficult to see, no matter what angle we used so I will do my best to describe what is happening
• The same arm that went over the close arm of the attacker, now goes under the ‘other’ arm of the attacker
• At this point, both of my palms are facing up, but pointing in opposite directions
• The contact is very close to the attackers wrists in order to keep control of the baton

Circle

• Begin to circle both of your arms to the right in front of your body
• Notice both of my hands are still touching the attackers wrists
• All of these movements are done as fast as you can before the attacker can react to your motion

Continue Circling

• Continue the circular motion
• Look how the attackers hands are becoming twisted
• Keep that contact!

Grasp the Baton

• I have continued my circling motion even further
• My hands are down and in front of my body now
• I can begin to grasp the baton
• Notice how the body of the attacker is off balance and his arms are quite twisted
• This makes it very easy to disarm the attacker

Complete the Grasp

• Continue twisting until the attacker can not hold on any more
• The attacker’s arms are completely crossed making him unable to keep a hold of the baton any longer

Raise the Baton

• Now you have the baton
• Hold with both hands and raise the baton to swing

Swing

• Before the attacker can recover, swing at his legs
• See the attacker is still twisted and off balance; use this to your advantage

Strike the Knee

• Strike the attackers knee
• This low strike is to make them turn away from you and hopefully knock them off their feet or buckle their knees
• You can of course strike more than once to accomplish this
• If needed you can strike at other targets on their body to ensure your safety

Take Your Distance

• After knocking the attacker down, step back and away
• Back up, keeping your eyes on the attacker
• Your arms are raised incase you need to strike again
• When you are safely out of range, RUN!!!!!

As always, when you are safe, you should report the attack. Please remind your young daughters to seek help from someone they trust and to call the police. This is an important safety issue to remind young teens. Let’s empower our daughters!

Don’t Be A Victim. Be Confident. Be Safe.