Program teaches kids how to fight off an attacker - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Program teaches kids how to fight off an attacker

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A man is in custody after police say he tried to take a 7-year-old girl in a Georgia Walmart.

Brittany Baxter was in the toy aisle at a Walmart in Bremen when police say Thomas Woods picked up the little girl and covered her mouth.

Surveillance video shows the little girl kicked and screamed and forced him to let her go.

While Baxter is okay, would your child know what to do if someone tried to take them?  News Leader 9 met with a local martial arts expert who explains what your kids can do to keep themselves safe.

"Leave me alone!  I don't know you!"

Nine-year-old Aja Kallingal knows exactly what to do if a stranger approaches her.

"You need to be as loud as you can and use as many kicks or punches that you can possibly do to get away from them," said Kallingal.

She joins other kids at Premier Martial Arts in Columbus where they learn ways to protect themselves.

Head Instructor Von Jenkins says even though your child may be small, there are ways to deter an attacker.

"[They should] always make sure that they have a mean face, a loud voice, and they get their hands up, and they have strong hands.  We tell our kids that all the times because just saying, ‘Leave me alone. I don't know you.'  That stranger won't listen to that."

Aja and Jenkins demonstrated three moves your child can use, if someone does try to take them. 

The first move is getting out of a bear hug.  The child swings their legs, kicking the attacker until he lets go. 

Next, if a predator grabs your child's head, Jenkins says your child should grab the attacker's hand and kick their groin. 

Lastly, if an attacker only grabs the wrists, your child should kick, yell, and wiggle until the predator has to let go.

"If a child is really, really adamant about not going somewhere with a stranger, it's going to either draw attention or that stranger will, you know, say, 'Hey, I don't want this trouble,'" said Jenkins.

Aja's mom, Amy Kallingal, encourages other parents to just talk to their kids.

 "This gives them an opportunity to realize that there are situations that maybe they shouldn't take at face-value and, be loud, be heard, fight it off," said the mom.

Premier Martial Arts does give free self defense classes for kids and adults every Saturday.  You will need to call ahead at (706) 320-3505 to reserve a spot. 

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

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