Kid Safe

Daily Bulletin, March 2, 2007

Judo Club to offer self defense for children

by Liset Marquez, Staff Writer

Ashton Farah demonstrates a technique

There are countless stories of parents who turned away for a split second and to look back and see their child gone. It is that split second that can be vital to saving a child's life. Goltz Judo Club in Claremont will provide "Kid Safe," an educational and self-defense class for kids in the community as part of it's Tiny Tots Judo Program.

Starting in March, Goltz and the Goltz Judo Club will begin offering the class twice a session at the Alexander Hughes Center. "I personally think if the kids have learned one thing that saves them from a situation - that could be the best two hours they've spent," said Goltz, a seventh-degree black belt and LAPD Defensive Tactics Consultant.

The self-defense class incorporates simple steps with self-defense techniques, he said.  "Our program teaches kids what to avoid, hopefully they'll remember what to do if they're in a situation that calls for it, he said. The purpose of the class will be to give some basic pointers and increase awareness," Goltz said.

Aside from learning some self-defense techniques, the kids might also gain some confidence and learn how not to be a victim, he said. The city had done a mailing of the fliers to all the local schools. There is a fee for the class.  "We're not looking to make money on this program, we're here to cover our costs," he said.

The classes will be taught by instructors of the Goltz Judo Club, which is the largest club in the United States Judo Association, he said.  Ashton Farah, who is also a degree black belt in judo will instruct the classes.  In the past, Ashton said she has felt helpless watching the television accounts of missing children.

"Now that this program is here, I think it's really good, I feel like I'm really going to help kids," Ashton said. "You can instill some basic instincts in people. The goal is to become reactive, you don't want them to have to think about it. This is also a chance for parents and kids to do something together”

Lori Pierceall, DARE officer for the Claremont Police Department, said programs like these help children become aware of their surroundings.  "We'll be there to support this program." Pierceall said. "It's instilling basic awareness."  She said hopefully they'll learn how to identify the perpetrators.

"We're not trying to make anyone in this program a judo expert, we're teaching them practical skills.  Some basic skills combined with common sense in order to know how to defend themselves," Goltz said.

For more information go to Goltz Judo's Website or call Claremont Human Services at (909) 399-5490.