Friday, June 10, 2011

Roll the Wrists

I've started teaching my five year old some of the basics of collegiate wrestling - no throws or turns or locks mind you - just some basic things about balance and escaping. As I've known them, school yards are generally places where more pushing and grabbing happens than actual hitting, so I'm hoping to enable her to fend off some of the natural aggressors.

I was much older myself when I learned to do this, but I found that just being able to fend someone off makes enough of an impression; bullies turn elsewhere when they see you are going to be work.

"Let me try it again Dad," she says each night now - I never expected how much she'd like the training.

I started with something I was taught when I took wresting in high school. There was graduate of our school who'd come back from his college program on occasions to practice and assist teaching us.

"Simplest trick there is," he told me one day, "When someone grabs one or both of your hands, just roll your wrists over and take their initiate away."

"If you're fast enough," he added, "Sometimes you can surprise them enough to pull them off balance."

So we've been taking turns at a quickest draw in the west contest each night to see who can free their hands more rapidly from a sudden attack.

"Got you again," she laughs when she slips out of another parry, "I'm faster than you."

I regret when we're doing this, the necessity of teaching any self defense. But it's sitting right at the end of her nightly exercises.
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Self Defense
I wish I didn't feel the need to enable her. I wish even more that I didn't feel the need to train her so that we can work together some day to help train her little brother. But I know too well what a play ground can feel like when you don't know anything about self defense. It can be a lonely place.

I'm hoping if I can keep the training fun and defense minded (no hitting - just escaping for now), it will boost her confidence and make her world more manageable. I hope that by teaching her to keep her hands free, it will make sure that they're free to do the math and the reading and the writing.


GingerB said...

David, I think it is awesome to teach her self defense. I've always thought I would have my girls in some kind of formal program. If I told you how many unwanted touches I had by age 14 your head would spin. A college classmate's daughter had been taught something (I don't know what) by her Chinese father since a very young age. When a confirmed sex offender grabbed her in a bowling alley and tried to pull her into another area, she did one of the kicks she'd been taught and ruptured a testicle, which allowed her to escape and authorities to apprehend him. Tee-hee.

Your word verification tonight: noturmetro Coincidence? I think not.

David Sexton said...

Thanks for the encouragement Ginger. That's a scary story (funny too). Maybe I'll throw in a few other lessons for my daughter with that in mind. At some point I want both the kids to take some formal training, but I'll teach them what I've found that works to get them started. I'm a pacifist at heart, but I found myself more able to be peaceful when I'd learned the wrestling in high school.