Call or visit for more information about getting started  ●  6320 Scioto Darby Rd  ●  614-777-6033


Self-defense, stranger danger and dealing with bullies
At our school or your location, depending on date, time, location & availability
Remember to "refresh" for updated information about clinics

Learn to fight back at one of our Women's Self-defense class
We do not have one on the calendar right now, but if you are interested
or have a group you want to bring in for a class, give us a call.


What will we do in the Women's Self-defense Basics class?
We'll have fun and learn very basic skills to help us avoid, evade and have a better chance of defending ourselves from unwanted attention or an attacker. This basic class does not use an attacker in a padded suit to yell and swear at you. It's not meant to be scary and I don't quote a lot of frightening statistics. This class is meant to be fun and make you more aware of your surroundings, help you avoid potentially dangerous situations and give you more confidentce about using your voice and kicking/striking and attacker. I encourage you to try all the skills we are teaching but you are never forced or bullied into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.
 
The comments I hear most often during and after these classes include:
● Wow! I don't know why I was afraid to do this ... that really was a lot of fun!
● I'm amazed that I really CAN remember and do all these things.
● I feel better about my daughter being at college now that she's taken this class with me.
● One of the best things I learned is to just be more aware of what's going around me.
● I want my (sister, mother, aunt, co-worker, daughter ... ) to take this class.
● I had so much fun and learned so much I'm going to sign up for the next one, too.



Self-defense, Stranger Danger or Bully-defense clinics for your group by Hilliard Taekwondo Academy

If you have kids in school (where bullying can happen) and since it's getting dark earlier you may be wondering if you can learn some self-defense techniques to help you feel a little safer. The answer is "Yes!"

You are able to also schedule to bring your group of 10 or more to us or we can come to your location for one of these clinics, depending on the date and time.

We don't teach complicated maneuvers that may seem really cool when you try them at a clinic, but would require you to tell an attacker to wait a minute while you think about which hand to put where. We focus on:
 ● helping you avoid becoming a victim
 ● learning how to use your voice and body language to deter an attacker or bully
 ● how to use basic blocking, striking and kicking to increase your chances of getting away 

We've also provided some tips on handling bullies, strangers and self-defense here:

STRANGER DANGER

Thank you GOOD DAY COLUMBUS for having our students on your August 30th show to demonstrate self-defense skills!

We can also come to schools, churches, youth groups and PTO's or host them at our taekwondo school on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon depending on the date, time and location as well as our availability.

Is someone trying to get you to break the family rules about who you are allowed to be with, where you are allowed to go, what you are allowed to wear, etc?

Rather than relying solely on the term "stranger" also talk with your kids about "people who will try to trick you into breaking the family rules." This takes the emphasis off of trying to figure out whether someone is safe/good or bad/unsafe based on their looks and puts the focus on whether or not they are trying to get us to break our family's rules about who you are allowed to be with and go places with and where you are allowed to go.

An increasingly scary reality is that technology puts children who are old enough to have more freedom at greater risk because they believe they are savvy enough to spot someone who is feeding them a line and they believe that they can take care of themselves. At the same time more and more apps that circumvent parental controls are easier and easier for kids to access, use and then hide from parents, making it easier for predators to find and communicate with them. Parents, please do your homework and research ways to keep your children safer in today's technological age! Don't just assume "my kid would never do that!" One resource you might want to check out is OvernightGeek University. They did a presentation recently at one of our community high schools to educate Hilliard parents about the potential dangers of technology available to kids. OvernightGeek has both a website and a facebook page.

What about younger kids and stranger danger? It seems that every young child knows, and will answer in that sing song-y voice, that a stranger "is someone you don't know" but when I ask kids if there are good and bad strangers and if they can describe a good stranger and a bad stranger they seem to think there is a difference and will describe a good/safe stranger as a normal looking person in nice clothes and describe a bad stranger as scary looking, mean, with tattoos, etc. Sadly we all have seen on the news the clean cut person who has committed horrible crimes against children ... and we all know someone who has tattoos, wears black leather, rides a motorcycle and is one of the nicest most trustworthy people in the world. Kids seem to equate "bad stranger" with looking strange and scary, but don't understand that ANYONE mom or dad hasn't given you permission to your face to be with or go somewhere with may not be safe. Relying on family rules helps them know how to respond.

A stranger who wants to be successful at getting kids to trust him/her and to go along with him/her quietly isn't going to look scary. They are going to dress and groom themselves in a way that makes kids trust them and feel more comfortable talking to them.

A stranger may try to talk in a friendly but authoritative way, like a teacher or a police officer would, to get a child to automatically comply with what the stranger is telling them to do.

We tell kids that a stranger is someone who doesn't hang out at their house with their mom and dad. And even in the cases of people who do hang out at their house, only mom and dad (or someone left in charge by mom and dad) can give permission to go with someone, and mom and dad need to be looking at you when they give permission (it's not okay for a stranger to tell you that mom and dad said you could go with the stranger). If someone is trying to trick you into breaking family rules about who you are allowed to be with, where you are allowed to go, who you are allowed to go with, etc you need to stay away from them. It can be a good idea to have a code made up of at least 2 unrelated words that people couldn't guess (do NOT use names of your pets or the street you live on, etc. because they are easy for a stranger to guess) that your parents would tell a safe "stranger" to use if they have permission to pick you up in an emergency.

In our Stranger Danger classes we use slammer shields and heavy bags to help kids practice using their fists, elbows, knees and feet, as well as their LOUD voices to kick and strike and YELL:

What if someone gets too close or grabs you?
● Use your voice
   The first response when any stranger tries to talk to you is to back away and say "I need to get my (mom or dad)"
   and then go get mom or dad ... or the person in charge of you right NOW; don't wait to listen to more things the
   stranger says to you; don't try to decide if talking to this stranger is okay ... get Mom or Dad NOW
   If the stranger keeps walking toward you and talking to you YELL and RUN:
   Be loud, use a strong voice and yell things like "BACK OFF! STOP! GET AWAY FROM ME! LET ME GO!" over and over
   until either you are safe, help comes or the person runs away. You are not actually yelling at the stranger, you are  
   yelling so neighbors or anyone in the area will hear you and come to help you. So be LOUD!
 
● Use your elbows
   If the person grabs you from behind, stick your elbows out to the sides and turn from side to side as fast and hard
   as you can to strike the person in the ribs, face, stomach, wherever and continue yelling

● Use your feet
   Kick as fast and as hard as you can. If the person picks you up kick your legs into them like you are riding a bicycle,
   step down hard on their feet, kick their shins and continue using your elbows and yelling

● Use your knees
   If the person grabs you in a bear hug from the front strike up into their stomach or leg with your knees as fast
   and as hard as you can, punching at the same time and yelling all the time

● Be a LOUD crazy kid
   Think about one of those little kids who has a temper tantrum in the store. You want to kick, punch, scrape with
   fingernails, hit and YELL the entire time to attract help and to make the stranger let go.

● If the stranger tells you to be quiet ... YELL LOUDER
   Ignore them and keep yelling, hitting, kicking. Yes we've been taught to be polite and respectful to adults,
   but we don't listen to adults who tell us to do things we know we should not be doing. Being quiet when
   a stranger is trying to take us away with them is not something we should be doing ... we need to YELL!!!

● If the stranger lets go of you
   RUN to a safe place, YELLING all the way and tell an adult NOW about what happened.

Our goal isn't to SCARE kids and make them afraid to ever leave home so we make the drills fun and help them feel more empowered.

DEALING WITH BULLIES


Who is a bully?

A bully is someone who picks on others. A bully may use words to tease others about their weight, height, skin color, clothing, intelligence and physical abilities. They may get others to exclude someone from a game or a party. A bully may also use more overt methods such as intimidating body language, pushing, hitting or shoving.

Bullies can be the kid down the street or someone in a different grade at school. A bully can even be your brother or sister, someone who says they’re your best friend … or even you may be a bully.

If you say things that hurt others feelings and respond with “What’s your problem?! I was just kidding!” or “Can’t you take a joke?!” or “You are too sensitive!” then you may be a bully. If you post comments on facebook that could be hurtful, even if you always include "jk!", you may be a bully.

Why do kids bully?

Statistics vary on why kids bully one another. Depending on which report and whose statistics you find, you may read that kids bully others because:

  - They don’t feel good about themselves

  - They want others to feel even worse than they do

  - A bully picked on them and they want to pass it along to someone else

  - They learned the behavior at home
     (we want to believe that all families are like our own family, but in fact, there are children being raised in homes where one or both parents didn't want children and verbally and physically abuse them; siblings may mistreat one another and the parents don't intervene because they think that's part of life; someone in the household may be dealing with alcohol or drug abuse; these bullies are not likely to tell the truth when caught because they know they will be physically punished when they get home, so they may act like they are the victim and your child was the bully, and their parents may bully the school administration to discipline YOUR child)

  - They want to be the center of attention

We don’t know if any of those are the real reasons kids bully. But we do know that self-confident kids who learn how to defend themselves are less likely to be the targets of bullies and are better able to take care of themselves if they do get picked on. And kids who develop self-control and learn to respect others are less likely to become bullies.

Parents, children learn more from what they SEE us do than from what we TELL them they should do. Do you tell your children it's not nice to talk unkindly about others, but then you gossip about others when you are with friends or family? Do you tell you children they should share and let others go first, but then when you drive your "road rage" comes out? Do you tell your children they should always be honest, but then they overhear or see you being less then honest? We can always find ways to justify our behavior, but the bottom line is that our children learn by watching us and overhearing how we talk to (and about) others. 

We are often asked if martial arts will make kids more violent and turn a child into a bully or make a child with bullying tendencies into a more powerful bully. Martial arts teaches children self-control and self-discipline, which helps them control the impulse to pick on others. In our program we have immediate consequences for any behavior that is disrespectful or unkind or is an attempt to show off. We also provide immediate positive feedback when we see students trying hard, being respectful and helping others. The self-confidence they gain from mastering martial arts techniques and achieving goals helps take away that "need" to bully others and provides a way to gain positive recognition. When parents reinforce at home the behavior expectations we have in our taekwondo school with consistent, age-appropriate consequences and positive feedback children become more respectful, considerate and self-confident.

Martial arts isn't about violence or beating up others. It's about finding the most peaceful way to resolve conflict, while having the self-confidence that comes with knowing you can defend yourself physically if there is not other way to get away from someone who is hurting you physically.

At Hilliard Taekwondo Academy students learn that the only way to earn respect is to achieve goals and move up in rank. They also learn that with higher rank comes the responsibility of being an example of how to treat others respectfully. Every student's goal should be to earn the respect of other students. Yes, your belt rank entitles you to certain privileges, but wouldn't it be great if other students and instructors respected YOU and not just the color of your belt?

Tips for dealing with bullies
especially in a "Zero Tolerance" environment
Parents, the bullying climate seems to be changing. Schools seem to have less and less ability to truly stop these situations. We hear that now, with these Zero Tolerance policies if a student defends him or herself against a bully, for example just by pushing the bully away or using a wrist lock or arm bar to keep from getting hurt by the bully, the victim can actually get suspended because they used some type of physical response to protect themselves even though they didn't punch or kick their attacker. We don't know about you, but we feel this gives the bullies all the power. It seems the bullies have learned how to pick on their victims without being seen by adults who will intervene or witnesses who will help stop the situation. But if their victims defend themselves, the bullies and their parents (who may be modeling bullying behavior for their child) are the first to accuse the victim of being the attacker. So, parents, you need to decide what level of force you are okay with your children using to defend themselves if peaceful efforts don't stop the problem and how you will handle the possible consequences, which may include your child being suspended from school.

Kids, telling someone about a bully and “tattling” are not the same things. Tattling is when you tell on someone just because you want to get him/her in trouble. Bullies hurt people, physically or emotionally, and you need to help stop that. Tell a trusted adult about the bully, whether the bully is picking on you or someone else.

It's important to use a tone of voice that is more likely to get an adult to listen; adults can often tune out a whining tone of voice. Kids are more likely to get help from an adult if they use a serious tone of voice and say something like “Mrs. Smith, Harry, keeps poking me in the back when we line up to go out for recess. I’ve asked him to stop, but he hasn’t. Can you help me get him to stop?” instead of “Mrs. Smiii-iiii-iiiii-ith, Harry’s being a meanie and picking on me-e-e-e-e!!!!”

Most schools have stringent anti-bullying policies. Parents, if someone is bullying your child at school, when you talk to the teachers and administrators, use the words "bullying, bully, bullied" instead of "my child is being picked on" and document all communications with the school as well as how the school and administration respond.

Kids, one way to help avoid being bullied is to have friends with you. Bullies often act alone and may be less likely to pick on you when you are with a group of your friends. A bully wants to have one victim to pick on. A bully doesn’t want witnesses who will step in and stop the bullying or tell adults what they saw.

If a bully likes to tease you and call you names, first try ignoring it (and we know this is hard to do, because words do hurt ... sometimes more than "sticks and stones"). Some bullies will stop when they don’t get the satisfaction of upsetting you.

If the bullying continues, try using words to disarm the situation. Using physical force to respond to a bully who is calling you names or saying mean things to you will just get you in trouble. You can put your hands up in front of you, like stop signs, look the bully in the eye and and say in a firm voice, "STOP!" Many bullies are looking for a victim they can intimidate. If you don't look or sound scared, they may leave you alone.

If a bully does hit or push you, first try using only enough physical force to block the bully from being able to hit or kick you while also using your a strong loud voice to tell them to back off and to stop. You can do this by putting your hands up in front of you in the stop position and jumping back, or by pushing their punching arm out of the way across the front of their body. Your goal is get the bully to stop attacking you. If the bully does stop picking on you, but then you start kicking or punching the bully to get even, you will get in trouble because you are now the one who is doing the attacking. Again it may not seem fair to you that if the bully hits you five times that you can't hit the bully back five times, but we want to behave better than the bully, not be just like the bully.

If you see someone being bullied, step in and help the victim by telling the bully to "STOP!" or get a trusted adult to help. 

What else can you do?
The healthier you are, the better you will be able to deal with a bully. Looking physically fit can reduce the odds that a bully will pick on you. If you are healthier you can get away faster. If you have to defend yourself physically, you will be stronger and better able to take care of yourself.

Find an activity you like. You'll feel good about yourself and you'll make more friends who like the same things you do.

Talk to your teacher or school principal about forming a group of students who can talk about how to stop bullying in your school and in your neighborhoods.

Parents, if your child is being bullied, listen to them and ask how they want you to help. If they’re afraid you’ll take over, make a big scene and embarrass them, they may stop coming to you for help. If you need to talk to the teacher or the principal, remember that most schools have policies for how to handle bullying and your child has a right to feel safe.

And, parents, if a teacher, principal or someone else tells you that your child is bullying others, don't have the attitude of "Not MY child!" Consider it seriously. As a parent you may feel defensive about what you’re hearing and want to argue ― no one wants to believe that their child would bully others. Or you may feel angry at your child and want to berate them or even strike them. Or you may think that this is just part of normal childhood behavior and kids should just suck it up and deal with it. But under-reacting or over-reacting to the situation won’t help. And even good kids will lie to get out of trouble. It’s important to find out if your child is bullying others and if they are, help them stop.

Kids who are "good" at being a bully often the ones who are the most charming to parents, teachers and other adults. Think about Eddie Haskell in the old "Leave it to Beaver" sitcom. Yes, he overplayed the smarmy teenager with too-good manners around adults, but the reality is kids who seem so well-behaved and who are charming to you can still be a bully when adults are not around.

Yes, it's normal for kids to have some conflicts as they grow up. Siblings argue and friends have disagreements and stepping in to fix every little problem can hinder kids from learning how to stand up for themselves. But parents need to teach children healthy ways to handle conflict and have consequences for inappropriate behavior like calling names, hitting as well as using texting and facebook to put others down.

And again, parents, children tend to model our behavior rather than doing what we tell them to do so let's be good role models and avoid road rage, sarcasm and belittling language.

 

SELF-DEFENSE TIPS

One of the best self-defense techniques is to be prepared before something happens. Knowing ways to stay safer, to be more aware of your surroundings and how to avoid potentially dangerous situations can help you and your family members reduce the chances of becoming victims.

The easy-to-remember, basic self-defense techniques we teach at Hilliard Taekwondo Academy in our classes and our self-defense clinics can help you develop the confidence to avoid being targeted as a victim, to stop an attacker from following through or help you get away from an attacker.

Many self-defense classes teach complicated techniques that you would need to practice regularly to be able to use correctly if you were attacked. Even Black Belts have difficulty with many "self-defense techniques" because they don't practice them every single day.

T
he overwhelmingly positive feedback from the clinics and classes we do is often along the lines that the participants are surprised at how much they learned and that all the techniques were things they could actually do, remember and use. 

There are three ways you may be able to participate in one of our seminars:

·Attend one of the seminars we schedule periodically at our school

·Schedule to bring a group of 10 or more of your friends, family members and/or coworkers to our school for a personalized class, depending on date and time

·Schedule to have a seminar at your business, church, professional group, etc., depending on location and date

At Hilliard Taekwondo Academy, we teach very basic techniques that can help you increase your chances of surviving an attack. In addition to what you can learn in our hands-on seminars, we’ve listed below some self-defense and safety tips.


SOME SAFETY TIPS


Avoid potentially dangerous situations

- It's usually safer to go with a friend or in a group, especially after dark
   (but just because you are with a friend, don’t assume you don’t need to be careful;
   an attacker with a weapon can threaten a whole group)

- Keep doors and windows at home locked (or use the safety catches on windows that only let them open a few inches)

- Don’t hide a key to your house in an obvious place outside your house

- Don’t make your garage door code something easy for someone to figure out

- Don’t open your door to strangers or for unscheduled appointments
   (Even with a chain on the door, an attacker could push hard enough to break the chain)

- Ask for identification to be shown through a window or peephole even when you’ve scheduled an appointment for someone to come to your home; if you don't feel comfortable with the situation, call the company this person says they represent

- If your dog always barks when someone comes to the door, don’t try to break them of that habit; you want a stranger to know you have a dog

- If you come home and a door is unlocked or a window is broken or lights are on or off that shouldn’t be or you don’t hear your dog that normally barks, don’t go inside; instead call the police

- Keep your car doors locked and don’t lower your windows far enough for someone to reach their hand in

- If it may be dark when you come out to your car from work or the grocery, park under a light and/or ask someone you know and trust to walk you to your car

- You may feel safe because you carry mace or pepper spray, but on a windy day, your safety spray can blow back into your face and blind you; if an attacker is close, they can wipe your safety spray off their face and into your eyes

Trust your instincts

One of the best books I’ve read on this topic is “The Gift of Fear.” Females are often raised to not hurt anyone's feelings, to never embarrass anyone no matter how inappropriately they behave, to always use a quiet "ladylike" voice, and to put other people's needs and wants before our own.  Attackers know this and may play on it to get you to cooperate.  There are often clues our subconscious picks up on, so:

- If you don't feel safe, get out of the situation

- If you feel this person isn't trustworthy, don’t give them a ride, don’t invite them in and don’t go anywhere with them

- An acquaintance of a friend of a friend of a friend isn't necessarily someone you should trust or be alone with

- Just because someone is a co-worker or always bags your groceries doesn't mean you should trust them to give you
   a ride somewhere or that you should ride with them or be alone with them

- Don't let someone try to embarrass you into cooperating with them

- if something about your car or house seems odd when you return, stay out and ask for help

A "successful" attacker is going to be one who looks safe, who befriends you or who guilts you into cooperating until they can get you alone. We tell our children not to go with a stranger who asks them for help and we adults shouldn’t either. This includes a new co-worker who offers or asks for a ride home, someone you’ve just met at a party, the stranger you’ve struck up a 20-minute conversation with on the bus, a customer who seems a little too interested in you.

Be aware of what's around you.

Notice who is around you, who is walking toward you, where your car is, where the lights are, the safest place to run to if necessary, what you have that can be used as a weapon. Don’t become so involved in a cell phone conversation that you don’t see or hear a potentially dangerous situation before it happens. If you are walking alone, though, having someone listening on the other end of a cell phone call (as long as you are paying attention to your surroundings) until you get to safety is a good idea.

Don't let someone get close enough to lunge at and grab you. And just because they seem to be oblivious to you as they are moving toward you doesn't mean they aren't planning to walk past you and then turn quickly and grab you from behind. We don't like to make a scene or embarrass ourselves or make others uncomfortable, but it's better to cause a possible embarrassment than to risk your life.

Have a plan

We’re not suggesting that you should walk around in fear. As a matter of fact, having a plan can make you feel LESS fearful as well as more self-confident and prepared should something happen. As soon as you are aware that you do not feel safe, use your plan to decide what you are going to do to get out of the situation now, or what you will do if it gets worse:

- Try to defuse the situation, not escalate it; be assertive, not aggressive.

- Think about what you have that you can use as a weapon, if needed:
   Your voice, teeth, hands/fists/fingers, elbows, knees, feet, purse, keys, perfume, ink pen, nail file

- Figure out what direction you should run if you need to get to safety

Do not be an easy victim

An attacker is typically looking for someone who they can intimidate and get to do what they are told without making noise or putting up a fight.

- Look self-confident when you are walking around

- Pay attention; Do not be absorbed in your cell phone, looking in your purse or wallet

- If someone does approach you, use a strong self-confident voice and look them in the eye

- If someone starts to get too close, put your open hands up, palms toward the other person in a "stop" position and
   tell them in loud assertive voice to "STOP!" or "BACK OFF!"

- Be the loud, yelling crazy person; attackers to not want someone who will draw attention to what they are doing
 

Other things to think about:

Should you fight back or not?
No one can tell you what YOU should do in any situation. The goal is to survive. But if you’ve learned some easy-to-use and easy-to-remember self-defense techniques, you’ve increased your options if you are attacked.

If an attacker tells me that I won’t be hurt if I stay quiet or just get in the car, what should I do? Again, no one can give you an answer that will be right for every situation. And again, the goal is to survive. But you need to ask yourself why the attacker wants you to stay quiet (he doesn’t want you to attract attention to stop his attack) or why the attacker wants you to get in the car (so he can take you to another location so he can do whatever he plans with less chance of being stopped) and why you should trust and believe a person who is taking you against your will when he says he won’t hurt you if you do what he tells you to.

Frequently asked questions about our self-defense classes

1.  How will a self-defense differ from your regular taekwondo classes?

This will be less formal than our regular taekwondo classes.  In taekwondo we learn patterns of moves, focus on sparring skills and develop wood breaking techniques, all designed to help us defend ourselves better through the repetition and practice that comes with regular workouts. In self-defense classes we will teach just a few basic techniques with partners and soft targets that can help give you an edge in a difficult situation.

2.  Do I need to buy a martial arts outfit for this?

Nope! In fact we’d prefer you didn’t. Just wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing like sweat pants and a short-sleeved t-shirt. You won’t need your shoes or socks during the class either. While the class won’t be terribly strenuous, you can bring a water bottle if you like. We do have drinking fountains.

3.  Will we meditate and do a lot of bowing?

Nope! There is no meditation or religious philosophy associated with the Hilliard Taekwondo Academy program in our "regular" classes or in our self-defense, stranger-danger or bully prevention classes. While there are formalities associated with our taekwondo program such as answering each set of instructions promptly with "Yes, Sir!” or “Yes, ma’am!” and the courtesies of bowing to your partner and shaking their hand, our self-defense classes are less formal. However, the more promptly everyone responds to instructions, the more we can accomplish during these classes.

4.  Are you trying to get me to sign up for classes?

Of course we’d love you to sign up for classes, because we love taekwondo and think it’s a great all around strength training/cardio workout and self-defense program, is great for the whole family, plus a good way to make new friends, but that isn't why we offer the self-defense classes and we don't try to sell you on our program before, during or after the self-defense classes. We don’t want any student we have to strong-arm or trick into signing up. On the other hand, if you enjoy the self-defense class and think you might like taekwondo, we urge you to try one of our taekwondo classes for free to see what you think.

5. Where do I get more information?

For more information about our self-defense seminars, bully awareness, stranger danger or our taekwondo program, give us a call at 777-6033 or stop in to visit us. Just check out the calendar and class times on our schedule page.

 

 



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