The Kidz'n Power program was developed back in 2009 and has since been endorsed by several organizations, including AmberAlert.com. The program is designed to promote child safety within the community and West of the Moon ATA offers a free 90-minute seminar every quarter.
"With the D.A.R.E. program canceled due to budget constraints, our safety class was the first time most of these kids had learned about drugs and gangs," Zorn said. In addition to learning about drugs and gangs, participants also learn about 9-1-1, fire danger, "stranger danger," and the importance of having a secret code word with their parents.
The course is taught with a DVD that gives kids a visual of different scenarios and challenges them to think of the appropriate actions to take. Each scenario is centered around a specific set of self-defense techniques for common situations.
For example, one scenario involves a stranger grabbing a kid by their arm and trying to pull them away. The kid reacts by striking some sensitive areas on the strangers face to break away.
"I don't expect the participants to remember everything we taught here today. We send each kid home with a student edition of the Kidz'n Power DVD and I hope they practice with their parents on a regular basis," Zorn said. "Regular practice is essential."
West of the Moon ATA hosts a quarterly Kidz'n Power child safety class at their school in Oswego. They also offer regular martial arts classes for kids and adult, and self-defense is an important part of their program. For information on classes, visit their web site at www.myataschool.com.