This September, ATA Martial Arts kicked off the school year with a free bus stop safety seminar, benefiting the greater Little Rock community and equipping students of all ages with valuable self-defense skills. Hosted at the ATA’s Maumelle Community Center location, this seminar was led by Senior Master Keegan Ireland and focused on three crucial objectives: situational awareness skills, stranger defense, and bully defense tactics.
A key benefit of martial arts is self-defense, and an important element of self-defense is situational awareness. When children are taught to be aware of their surroundings, they are equipped with the ability to better spot potential threats. “One thing we don’t want to do is scare our kids about what dangers might be in the community; we want to prepare them so they are confident and know how to react,” said Senior Master Ireland.
Stranger and Bully Defense
When it comes to stranger and bully defense, ATA Martial Arts aims to teach children how to react when someone makes them uncomfortable in public. “Martial Arts is not always about kicking and punching. It’s also about being able to stand tall, look someone in the eye, tell them to stop, and then be able to walk away. That’s the toughest part of self-defense,” said Senior Master Ireland. Eye contact and a commanding voice are important elements in both stranger and bully self-defense that can greatly benefit any child. Additionally, knowing how to combat grabs and holds can enhance a child’s safety skills.
Confidence is Key
By instilling confidence and vital self-defense tactics in students of all ages, ATA Martial Arts is contributing to the safety and readiness of the young people in our area. Confidence and self-defense skills are positive ways for children to stand up for themselves in most any threatening situation. These important lessons extend far beyond the bus stop, providing young people with life skills that are sure to benefit them in various real-life situations. For more information about equipping young and older alike with martial arts training, visit