(STICK) COMET-KIDS PROGRAM
is actually an acronym
standing for COMbat,
for Kids and
there are two components. The
second division is designed
as a unique self defense program
for teenagers, focusing on counter-bully
and escape and evasion techniques
against serious life-threatening
attacks by adults and other
dangerous attackers. I will
discuss that program in my next
article. STICK comprises
the first component of this
ARE COURAGE COACHES
this Fighting Arts program
(the STICK component of Comet-Kids),
I appeal to parents to work
closely with their child(ren)
to develop, maintain and support
a Family Defense Plan.
Frankly, without this FDP,
nothing I teach will ultimately
work. This component is very
involved, and I cannot do
justice to the role of the
parent in developing and maintaining
these survival skills in this
limited venue, save to note
that a few of the concepts
and principles include:
will report any suspected approach, contact or
attack by a potential abductor to the parent.
Parent must support the child.
attend and participate in all classes, actually
helping the child with the moves and techniques
taught by the instructor.
can reinforce the specific skills and strategies
emphasized in the class(es).
Coaches need to emphasize escape. Parents give
the child “permission” in special
circumstances to act rude to these adults, to
disobey requests and orders from these adults
identified as potential Bad Guys, to even physically
are taught that their Gut Instincts
are natural and are usually accurate. If an adult
gives him or her the creeps,
the Courage Coach encourages their child(ren)
to obey that instinct, even if it means being
rude to a relative or “friend” of
the family. Parents understand the principle that,
if the “friend” or relative is well-intended,
he or she will understand on the spot or later
when the parent explains why the child acted they
way he or she did that the child was trying to
protect him or herself. If the person is a predator,
and, yes, relatives and people who identify themselves
as friends of the family have been known to attack
the children who allow them to get close, resisting,
being rude or running from that person will probably
be a life-preserving move. On
the other hand, a parent who chastises the child
for refusing to allow a relative from hugging
him or her, may prevent the child from acting
on his or her own behalf against an approaching
predator down the line.
Coaches Never use Scare Tactics when teaching
their children self-protection skills.
AND PREVENTION IS 97% OF S.T.I.C.K.
of the actual COMET-Kids (STICK) classes are physical
in nature, but, make no mistake about it, the most
important element to being safe from attack on a daily
basis involves Techniques of Avoidance. I cannot discuss
all of the preventives measures I advocate (all you
have to do to receive a copy of my monograph on the
subject is to email me and request it) because of
the limited scope of this article, but I can delve
into a few issues, including:
SAFE, MAYBE AND UNSAFE PEOPLE WITH YOUR CHILD:
Again, here is a terribly crucial role that only
the (parent) Courage Coach can
effectively perform. I ask all Courage Coaches to
sit down with their child(ren) and explicitly explain
to him/her/them that there are people who are Totally
Cool (Safe), including them, the parents,
if applicable (Remember: One parent may be suspected
of sexual improprieties, is estranged from the other
spouse and has threatened the spouse and/or the
child), relatives, siblings, clergymen and/or teachers,
if applicable. Cool People are
friends and relatives, teachers, doctors, coaches,
etc. whom the parent identifies as trustworthy.
However, the parent gives the child permission,
if at any time, the child “gets the creeps”
from a “Cool” Person, he or she should
take precautions (run, etc.). Courage Coaches can
identify Maybe People and even
Totally Uncool People, usually
strangers and/or people who approach the child uninvited
under any circumstances.
ESCAPE AND EVASION STRATEGIES: I always
discuss a short list of strategies (a child-student’s
attention span may not tolerate a long and involved
list) with the parent(s) present and I usually present
them in a handout format, so the Courage Coach can
review them later with the child (several times).
What follows are only a few of the Escape &
Evasion Strategies I advocate:
Aware, Anticipate and Act (I go over
some of the non-verbal and verbal signatures of
a potential abductor).
Possible, Leave the area once you are aware a
possible predator is watching you.
Eye Contact with the Bad Guy Until You Are safely
Out of an adult’s Unwanted Reach.
Are basically Cowards: They Get Freaked when a
child acts “Crazy, “ Unpredictable.
This creates uncertainty in the attacker’s
mind. So, yell, laugh, scream out, and, if grabbed,
follow the Comet-Kids Script: