Back to school.... becuase I learnt so much personally about young children right up to the older 6th formers, the way in which children see the world, their perceptions of strangers !! you do not find this stuff in books. So actually i was the one back at school ..
from 2003, I was asked by the teachers at my daughters school to come and do a talk on stranger awareness. So Myself, my good Friend Mike Harney and Wife Tracey, who were the main kenpo kids team of instructors along with Dave Taylor at Mr Ellis`s Plymouth Kenpo Academy.
So we went and did our stuff, which lead to me running an after school club for 6 weeks. Impressed by what they had seen, and learnt, so we were then forwarded to two other schools in the area, Mike and Myself taught upto 1000 kids in 1 week. the rewards were like nothing we had ever experienced.
the following year Mike Askew of Estover Primary school, who had extensive experience in Judo, invited me back to do another stranger danger day, by now we sadly departed from our kenpo club, and focussed on what was becoming a household name "karitsu". I had put together a curriculum that consisted of handouts, and information for the kids, and teachers on topics from , safety around animals, safety and awareness in certain locations, first aid information, what to do in an emergency, we had drills on using the voice, we had funny ways to help remember certain scenarios, We taught the proper way to break fall, and roll, it was a complete teaching guide that the teachers were glad to have an independant person to teach and explain about.
the next 2 years was probably the best times i had teaching children, from 4 years to 16 year olds, the council had validated my programme, enforced by the local MP for schools, I became a part of the healthy schools programme and the lifelong learning scheme.
I was asked to go into all girls schools to teach, the womens self defence side of things, with the use of every day improvised weapons to protect them in the worst case scenarios, I remember at Notre Dame Girls school, the girls could choose what they wanted to do during a 6 weeks sports programme, I had over 70 , shall we say not easy to tame, girls that actually had chosen "karitsu" as a subject to be taught, The largest group of participants, which had to be taken over 2 days.(letters from students)
In FORD Primay school, i was invited to teach a 6 week course to class 6, and at the end they extended the course through demand, for another 6 weeks, some of the letters and comments i have both in writing and in the online guest book, made it all worth while. ( letters from teachers)
I was even invited to a huge get together of all the teachers and heads of the child care and healthy schools educational depts, where they all tried different workshops, and yes, there was a karitsu workshop to teach the teachers parts of my programme, and have some fun with the various Ju Jitsu moves.
None of the children were taught to fight ! they were taught life building skills using karitsu as a tool, and as long as we had the teachers ,playing some of the grappling games and taking part in the drills, the kids loved it..
I HAVE NOT HAD A LOT OF TIME TO PUSH THE PROGRAMME HERE, but keen always to talk to any interested parties.
Hope to visit your school soon, please email me so we can start sharing with your children who need it most