Last week my oldest daughter and I attended a self defense workshop at Ivivva Scottsdale taught by personal trainer Dan Huper. Dan is a skilled mixed martial artist and instructor at the Spartan Nation Combatives and Fitness gym. Ivivva offers workshops for girls every week with varying topics for health and wellness. The classes are for girls eight and older and their caretaker. Our self defense workshop had excellent tips for our young daughters while reintroducing some skills I haven’t thought about since college. I personally have not been assaulted but knowing 1 in 6 females in their lifetime will be, it’s something we openly communicate about in our home. The workshop was excellent and taught us the most important skill to teach your children for self defense. Stay in first location is not the advice I would have considered to be the most important. But it is. Dan reiterated this skill many times during the hour.
Ivivva is a clothing brand for active girls. Their mission is to celebrate real movement with a clothing line inspired by active girls and created by lululemon athletica. Ivivva sparks and connects a global community of brave, compassionate and adventurous girls – to get involved, support each other and impact the world around them in their own unique way. The weekly classes reinforce the sense of community and support for young girls.
The self defense workshop began with several questions about why self defense skills are important. Dan did a great job engaging the young girls with age appropriate conversation. He related a predator to a lion and the victim a zebra – a concept younger girls could clearly understand.
Then he taught the most important skill to teach your children for self defense – stay in first location.
What is first location?
First location is your immediate environment. Common sense tells you not to run away into a secluded area but it’s so important for children to know this is the primary goal. Instead of pulling and trying to run away, Dan provided several essential skills:
- Turn to the predator, grab their arm and yell, “Fire,” in their face. “Fire, fire, fire!” Other words like “stop” or “help” won’t get the same attention from bystanders.
- Then get down on the ground and wrap your body around their leg with your head tucked. A child determined to be on the ground is very difficult to pick up. This skill helps accomplish the primary goal of staying in first location.
Punching upward and pulling the predator to the ground was taught next. The girls practiced each skill with partners.
Dan also gave a brief demonstration of the rear naked choke hold, a skill shared for the moms and older girls attending the class.
The girls learned a lot in an hour but the skills and information must be reiterated at home. “Stranger Danger” is simply not an effective way to keep your children safe and it’s important to provide them with the right skills and information.
Dan is passionate about empowering girls and women with the appropriate skills for safety and self defense. His personal and group classes are a great way to learn these skills and offers an awesome refresher with the introduction of new information.
What have you done to teach your children self defense skills?