What makes The Academy a special place? Ask different students, and you’ll get different answers. For those of us who work behind the scenes, what makes The Academy not just special, but extraordinary, is the fact that the training touches upon every aspect of life-safety. We are not limited to the studio – we work to ensure that students are safe at work, at home, in public, and in every other aspect and venue of day-to-day life.
Krav Maga is our raison d’être. Accordingly, we teach students how to do everything not to get hurt – that’s the ultimate goal. But we differ from other disciplines in that what we consider “not hurt” is more encompassing than simply blocking a punch or avoiding a weapon. “Safe” means being aware of one’s surroundings, it means getting into your car and buckling your seat-belt the right way; as much as it means building stamina, strength, and agility, it means locking your car when you get out to pump gas.
Just as our KM training for adults is comprehensive, so too is the program for children. Many self-defence systems rightly build children’s self-esteem, physical endurance and power, and sense of discipline. We believe that children’s training should not end there. What does “safety” really look like for children? Certainly, it includes all of the components of fitness, defensive skills, and mental discipline, but there is so much more that our children can learn in order to keep themselves safe in environments in which parents/guardians cannot be present and in situations that we cannot anticipate.
This weekend, we have hosted a children’s survival seminar. We built emergency kits, based on the government of Ontario’s excellent emergency-preparedness guidelines, and we discussed why each component is important. We discussed critical information, such as the importance of children knowing their parents’ contact information, their home intersections, the addresses of safe meeting-places, and safe-words. We spoke about knowing, by heart, certain essential information about home – for example, how many stairs there are from the top floor to the bottom. This is Krav Maga, though it doesn’t fit the stereotype of punching, kicking, and blocking; it is about being safe in all situations. We, at The Academy, cannot imagine anything more important than the total safety of our children.
We encourage all families to visit the Ontario government’s emergency-preparedness website, in particular, the interactive page that permits families to create an individualized emergency plan. It never seems more important to have a rehearsed plan than when a situation arises in which one is immediately necessary. It may come as a surprise how detailed these plans should be in order to prevent any family member from experiencing trauma or injury.
Yours in safety, and safety-planning,
The Academy Team