By Sifu Nancy Tei
As a teacher at local martial arts school California Academy of Martial Arts, I am troubled by the sobering news this month that two young girls were abducted and attacked within the space of one week.
Nature photographer Jesse Paul Speer is charged with luring an 11-year-old girl into his car and sexually assaulting her before letting her go in Wyoming. Meanwhile, Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway’s body was found dismembered; her murderer is still at large.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, I will host an Anti-Kidnapping Seminar for children and their parents. My goal is to empower all children to identify, avoid, escape, and defend against adults who may wish them harm.
The seminar is split into two fun, lively, age-appropriate workshops:
- PANDAS (ages 3-5): 10–11 a.m. A parent or guardian must participate along with their child as we cover important topics relevant to our preschoolers, including When to Call 911, Street Safety, and Stranger Danger. We will reenact real and hypothetical kidnapping scenarios involving young children as well as older siblings so that your child will know what to do if they are kidnapped or if they witness a friend or sibling being kidnapped. We will also role-play physical self-defense against attackers with a focus on what to do if grabbed or lifted by an unknown stranger.
- TIGERS & DRAGONS (ages 6-13): 11 a.m.–1 p.m. This workshop will build upon the basics by reenacting a number of real and hypothetical kidnappings. We will also discuss the tricks kidnappers may use to get children alone, as well as what children should do if they see their friends falling for these dangerous ruses. (The Wyoming girl was taken in full view of two friends who waited 45 long minutes to call police.) Finally, we will drill the children how to avoid being taken into vehicles and how to escape them once inside.
Both seminars will feature extensive discussion of when it is appropriate to say “no” to adults — not just strangers, but adults known to the child such as teachers and relatives, who are statistically more likely to commit harm to children than true strangers.
We’re looking forward to an enjoyable day, a lot of laughs, and some very important life lessons!
Dozens of our young students ages 3-13 are already enrolled. We are also accepting a limited number of non-student enrollments. For pricing and availability, please call us at (818) 843-7916.
California Academy of Martial Arts is located at 521-A N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, on the corner of Hollywood/Verdugo adjacent to Albertsons and Menchies.