S.H.I.E.L.D. Kids Self-Defense
Raleigh, North Carolina
The S.H.I.E.L.D. child self-defense system is designed to teach children to protect themselves against dangers like the bullying and teasing that they can face at school, or even from more subtle risks regarding peer pressure or unfamiliar, unwelcome contact of any kind. We teach both the physical and mental tools needed to maintain a strong, healthy attitude in almost all situations that they might face in childhood and as they grow into adulthood.
S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for:
During each class, we discuss what the kids know of these important character traits and walk them through gaining a more thorough understanding of each. They leave class with instruction to look for demonstrations of these from their family, friends and teachers, and to work on building the traits themselves.
One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. program's greatest advantages is itscapacity to be a non-violent form of self-defense. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the founding martial art ofthis program, greatly decreases the importance of size and strength in a fight. Our coaching focuses on defending rather than attacking. By gaining dominant position in an encounter, mentally or physically, a child can negotiate and then defend themselves to the necessary degree.
The classes are broken down into 2 different groups:
Animals (ages 6-10)
4:15 pm to 5:00 pm / Monday and Wednesday
This class is for kids ages 6-10. Self-defense techniques are disguised as the movements of different animals, and help build coordination and create muscle memory. The movements are named after the animals, which also include animal descriptions in order to create a mental connection to the technique. This stage serves as the foundation for the curriculum in the combative stages and to found confidence and motivation. We recommend that parents learn the Animal sequence and help their kids drill at home.
Combatives (ages 11-15)
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm / Monday and Wednesday
10:00 am / Saturday
This class is for kids ages 11-15. Body position is emphasized along with control of the opponent. Simplified versions of techniques also used by law enforcement and military personnel are taught. Potentially dangerous moves are omitted from the program to avoid injury. When a child turns 15, they are qualified to begin the adult program.
This 40 lesson curriculum rotates to give multiple exposure to the same technique. Parents, if involved in the class, get to repeat the learning process as well to help their growth and their practice skills.
Animal stage â 45 minutes
10 min - warm-up
10 min - discussion
15 min - instruction
10 min - games
Combative stage â 60 minutes
15 minutes â warm-up
10 min - discussion
30 min - instruction
15 minutes - sparring or games
Belt Promotions and Attendance Tracking
Students advance to higher levels based on their attendance and technical knowledge. The more exposure to the curriculum, the sooner they are eligible to test. A series of multicolored belts are given after testing to demonstrate advancement (white, yellow, orange, green). When the child reaches 15 years old, they are eligible for the adult rank of blue belt, which is the second of five adult level belts.
If the parent wishes to participate in the learning experience, they can do so at no charge. Parents can work alongside of the children drilling with them. This offers the ability for parents to practice at home with their kids and also bond with their child in a fun and supportive environment.
Coach Kate Volandt
Kate is a second stripe blue belt at Immortal BJJ, has won several local medals and is a nationally ranked gold medalist. She plans to compete internationally in spring 2013. She has always wished that she had become serious about martial arts as a kid, and is grateful for the opportunity to study Brazilian jiu jitsu as an adult. âI love that Immortal isnât another âblack belt factory.â The kidsâand the adultsâenjoy learning and improving, but also respond well to the challenges presented by stricter promotion criteria and a focus on correct technique, sportsmanship and character.â She has been working with kids since the beginning of her teens, and loves seeing them gain a foothold for strength, self-respect and confidence as they learn more than just the technical skills of BJJ.
Coach Casey Roy
Casey Roy is currently a student at NCSU and is studying Human Biology to eventually becoming a pediatrician. Since she was four years old she has been involved with all kinds of sports and believes that has truly made a difference in her life and has lead to many scholastic achievements. She was a triple letter-man in volleyball, indoor track, and softball and she has always had a passion for athletics of all kinds. At the age of 14 she began working with children and has many years of experience working as a child's counselor. Since then she has grown an enthusiasm for working with children and is excited to help kids develop a love for BJJ.
Biography of Professor Todd Wheeler
Professor Todd Wheeler has spent over 25 years in the study of martial arts. If he had the opportunity, he would have liked to have started at a younger age. Movies and books were his instructors, sometimes to his detriment. After moving to Los Angeles to be with his father at the age of 16, Todd began studying with some of the best martial artists in the world. His first experience teaching kids came when he worked with world renowned martial artist Billy Blanks, creator of Tae Bo. Billy had two kids Toddâs age and he began training with them and helping instruct the kidsâ classes at the school. âI was blown away about how young some of the kids were and how excited they were to be in the class,â Todd remembers. âAlso, the parents all seemed so proud of their little ones running around enjoying learning how to protect themselves.â
Many years later, Professor Todd was privileged to meet one of the best kidsâ Martial Arts instructors in the United States, Steve Cardenas (The Red Power Ranger). Steve was one of Professor Toddâs students and Steve soon began teaching the kids program at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-jitsu where Todd was teaching adults. After spending many hours with Steve and learning from him, Professor Todd realized the proper approach to kidsâ instruction.
âChildren are motivated by simple things. One of the most powerful motivators is praise! The word ânoâ should never be spoken within the school. We can simply make positive adjustments without the negative term. Praise/Correct/Praise is the primary way to install the techniques.â
After becoming a father to a wonderful daughter, Professor Todd soon began to realize that he wanted to have his own daughter start very early. This was something he could control and motivate as a child himself. âThe hardest part of training my own daughter at the age of 3 is to make the training a reward, not a chore. It is important for parents to realize that training should not be forced or part of a punishment. What child wants to truly do something if it is considered something they âhave to doâ?
With all his experience and knowledge, Professor Todd set out to create what he now calls S.H.I.E.L.D. This self/life defense system teaches them not only how to defend them self physically, but to also maintain a healthy attitude towards bullies and peer pressure. Children can learn in a positive environment to defend themselves, and stand up for themselves, making them stronger and more confident people for their entire lives.
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