I have a scary and happy story to tell you today. It is about the courage of a little girl and how she saved herself and one of her close friends from harm. Parents and caregivers, please take the time to read this and help spread the word that a little knowledge, used correctly, can save lives.
Emily is a ten-year-old girl who trains in Taekwondo at my academy, Olson’s Martial Arts. She has been training for just around 2 years. She is a friendly child who is always well behaved in class and is well liked by her peers and instructors. I tell you this, so you know she is just like most 10-year olds. Happy, making friends, going to school, and, wait… one thing does stand out about her; she trains in martial arts – Taekwondo specifically. This, along with parents who are aware of the dangers for kids these days and take steps to teach them, is what potentially saved her and her friend from danger.
A Potential Abduction
One recent afternoon, Emily and her friend were playing outside in the front yard. They live in a cul-de-sac not far from the highway. As they were playing, a jeep pulled up some yards away and a man started calling to the girls. “Hey girls, come over here!” At this point, every adult reading this is getting chills and terrified about the possible outcome. It’s every caregiver’s worse nightmare. An innocent child abducted by a stranger for no other reason than to cause harm.
Well, I am extremely glad to say that as Emily’s friend began walking to the vehicle, she grabbed her arm and told her not to go over there. She then ran her friend to the safety of the house and parents. The car, upon seeing the girls run up to the house sped off down the gravel road, not to be seen again. The police took a report but there was no other evidence than the girls’ description, so he is still at large.
Emily’s family is grateful for the lessons she learns here at Olson’s Martial Arts Academy. See, every day, in every class, we talk about and practice self-defense. It is a skill we take very seriously and are passionate about passing it on. We shared our knowledge with a 10-year-old girl, and she took that knowledge and saved her life as well as her friends life. And, in my opinion, the lives of the families involved. If Emily and her friend had gone down to that jeep, who knows the outcome? Most likely a very sad one. I can only imagine the suffering the families would be going through had Emily not grabbed her friend and run to safety.
Emily is a hero. She was very afraid, and it took a few weeks to feel safe going outside to play but she and her friend are back playing again. Both are much more aware of their surroundings and will not be an easy target.
I have so many stories of adults who have taken martial arts training and applied it in such a way to save their lives or lives of others. A child however, following her instincts, breaking with traditional teachings to do what an adult says, and realizing something was not right and run away, is quite amazing. What composure, what confidence!
We are so proud of Emily. We are proud she did the right thing and even more proud of her courage to tell her story and let her story be told. She wants all kids to know what to do if this happens to them. How to be safe.
Thank you, Emily, for showing your bravery and for helping others!
3 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe
- Adults do not ask kids for help! Like directions or to find a lost pet. Teach your child to do what Emily did. If an adult you don’t know ask for your help, run to safety! Even if they look like a nice person. Make sure the kids know who has a safe house on the block they can run too.
- If you are home alone, do not answer the door if someone knocks. Don’t even go to the window to look out. If a stranger does come in, run away to a safe location.
- Create a password with your family. Something to use for a surprise need for an afterschool pick up or from a sporting event. Kids think if an adult says, “Your mom said to come pick you up.” then it must be ok to go. The child should ask the password before going with someone unexpected. Of course, teachers and coaches should be made aware of safe and unsafe pick-up people.
- Start martial arts. Not only will your child learn self-defense, they will learn how to help others, gain confidence and better focus which will help in school with good grades in school!
Let martial arts be a staple in your child’s education. There really is nothing like it when it comes to creating confidence, self-discipline, concern for others and a safety net of knowledge. It isn’t always the type or style of martial arts that is important. Look for caring instructors who have a heart for teaching and helping others. Who live lives of character and teach character to their students.
Hoping you and your child are never touched by the evils of the world,
Amanda Olson – Master Mom®