Sometimes, the best justification for Krav Maga doesn’t come from sensational news reports or gratuitous videos on YouTube. You’ve likely seen them – the ones that make you think that your first KM class is going to involve live guns, Ghillie suits, and broken bones. Hype sells.
This post is dedicated to parents. It has nothing to do with blood and guts, but it does have to do with potential life-and-death scenarios. It has to do with the fact that parenting must involve constant and unwavering attention. In this case, fortunately, tragic endings were avoided (and all of the ratings that they would have engendered), but it gives us real and immediate food for thought.
One of our Academy members was recently at a popular restaurant and excused herself to use the washroom. As she approached the door, it was wedged open from inside by a youngster no more than three or four years old. The little one stood there for a while and then backed up so that our member could enter. The child’s mother was in a washroom stall, the door to which was closed and locked. It wasn’t until our member entered an adjacent stall and locked it that the mother called out to her daughter.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a disaster waiting to happen. This is a terrifying lapse. Please take this as a note of warning and bear it in mind when you are in public with children.
Had it not been one of our members who had walked through that washroom door, had it been a man or a woman with sinister intent, that young girl would be gone. She would be a missing person, and no sane human being can definitively say what might have happened to her. We hear horror stories (again, those that sell) about kidnappings, rapes, and murders, and they are not limited to particular races, genders, or even ages. That four-year-old could as easily have been a target as a sixteen-year-old; degenerate, monstrous behaviour has wide-ranging taste. The mother in that washroom was behind a locked door, presumably without all of her clothing in a state to permit unfettered or rapid movement. There was no other relative nearby. Perhaps it isn’t yet public knowledge that men and women with histories of assault, including rape, are released into communities and live among the rest of the population. One of those individuals, who rarely receive the rehabilitation that they need, could have been the one to walk through those doors and find a lone target waiting.
From a Krav Maga point of view, this incident is already a tragedy. There was an opportunity for harm to occur; it was not prevented, it was not even acknowledged. Parents, when you enter a washroom with a young child, that child must not be left unattended. Whatever you have to do in order to be within sight and reach of your child, do it. Maybe you have privacy issues, perhaps your child is impatient – we guarantee that your discomfort or his/hers will be nothing in comparison to the trauma that both of you will experience if something more heinous occurs. Do not – we repeat – DO NOT leave your children unattended, unseen, and out of arm’s reach in public. Ever.
Our head instructor, when he heard about the above, suggested that children be re-categorized. Perhaps, he said, children should be labeled as some brand of smart phone or tablet – these items tend not to be so easily forgotten or left behind. It’s sad that there is a grain of truth in what he’s proposing. If you wouldn’t leave your cell phone, your laptop, or your tablet on a public washroom counter while you use the facilities, why in the world would you consider it safe to leave your child there?
Food for thought – make sure that it doesn’t happen to your family.
From the team