Self defense expert offers tips for children

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas – A local self defense expert offered tips that children can learn as tools if they are ever targeted by a kidnapper.

Theodora Betancourt, kids program director and co-owner of Krav Maga Lubbock, said one thing predators look for in children is lack of confidence.

“Attackers look for people who are scared, especially kids,” said Betancourt. “They will know if a kid is brave enough to yell or to stand up to them.”

Betancourt said it’s also important to teach kids to be more observant of their surroundings.

“Specifically with kidnappings, they rely on kids being silent,” said Betancourt. “They rely on kids being not being very socially aware, even not aware of their environment or things around them.”

Betancourt said routine practices of responses and techniques will help children carry out faster judgment.

“[When it comes to fight, flight or freeze], a lot of children don’t know the flight or fight portion,” said Betancourt. “It’s usually automatic freeze unless you’ve worked on it.”

Viper, an 11-year-old student at Krav Maga Lubbock, said every little bit of training that kids can get is important.

“If you came here and you were attacked,” said Viper, “Then you would be prepared instead of if you just stood there and couldn’t do anything because you didn’t know anything.”

Viper said one thing she’s learned is to use her voice as a tool.

“You should always yell ‘Help!’ or ‘Somebody help me,'” said Viper. “Or you can also yell commands at them like ‘Go away!’ or ‘Stop!” or ‘Get away from me!'”

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