Child Safety & Self-Defense Classes

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Has anyone heard of Krav Maga Kids self defense?

Nov 2009

Has anyone heard of this new kids self defense program for children in Berkeley called Krav Maga kids?

Since you included the link to Berkeley Krav Maga in your question, I'll assume that you've read the site and already know quite a bit about it. My son began doing krav when he was 15 and it has been great for him. I hope he'll never need to use the self-defense skills he has developed; the big benefits from my perspective are the improvement in fitness and the fun he has during the classes. The best way for you to learn about the programs is to give Berkeley Krav Maga a call and go in to observe a class and talk with the staff. It's a very friendly group, both the instructors and the students. jane

2-hour class for 10-year-olds?


I'm looking for someone who can do a 2-3 hour self-defense/protection workshop for 4 ten-year-old girls. Perhaps sometime along the lines of what Kidpower offers but much shorter. I'd appreciate any leads. Thank you.

Re the request for a self protection workshop for a group of girls, perhaps like what Kidpower offers but much shorter: Shorter workshops are not offered *publicly* through Kidpower, but they are easily -- and frequently -- arranged. The vast majority of Kidpower workshops are privately coordinated for groups (scouts, schools, clubs, etc.) and range in length from one half hour to eleven hours, based on the age, life situation, and time constraints of the group. All workshops are tailored to meet the needs of the group being served, and, as with our public classes, we never turn groups or individuals away for financial reasons. Feel free to contact me, Kidpower East Bay Program Coordinator Erika Holmes, at eastbay at kidpower dot org if you would like more information.

BAMM ( Bay Area Model Mugging)

April 2004

[Editor Note] BAMM has now changed its name to Impact Bay Area, per email from Carolyn Wales: I noticed that you have a couple of testimonials about Bay Area Model Mugging (BAMM). Would it be possible to change the name and contact information on those pages? Cori Couture left us a couple of years back, and we've changed our name to Impact Bay Area to more closely align ourselves with the other Impact self defense chapters. We're still the same organization, though - only the name is different. Our current web site and phone number:, 510.208.0474

Kid Power from Santa Cruz (affiliated with Model Mugging) provides excellent classes in Berkeley for teens. They teach a quick and effective physical self defense technique and provide real practice against men wearing heavy padded protection. The training also includes avoidance of trouble, including adult sexual overtures (counselors, teachers, etc), being followed in a Mall, bullied at camp, and urged to smoke, drink or take drugs. The teachers are well trained. Sandra

I, my husband and our 4 year old daughter took KidPower training last October. We learned a lot. The instructor was excellent. I like the program because they don't just teach stranger danger. They teach the difference between someone you know and someone that you don't know and how to keep a safe distance. They teach how to handle manipulative people and bullies. They also emphasize that the parents go over the training at home. My daughter still remembers a lot of the training and we review it occasionally, especially the part about putting hurtful words in the trash and not letting them into you heart. My daughter participated fully in the class exercises. There were some children who did not participate so much, but the instructor emphasized not to worry about it because those kids still get the concept and will bring up the exercises later at home. I highly recommend KidPower! Jeanne

I would like to highly recommend Kidpower to other families. Our family (husband, 6 yr old daughter, 4 yr old son) participated in late January at Black Pine Circle School. The course was taught by the founder, Irene, and was very: interactive, appropriate, practical, empowering. Many exercises in which everyone listened and then the kids had to teach their parents the various responses to unsafe situations. My kids are now going around the house using some of the techniques we learned (like creating an imaginary garbage can and throwing away hurtful things that people/kids say). The class included lots of common scenarios: what to do if lost in a crowd, how to go to a firefighter if there is a fire even if he/she is a stranger, how to preserve appropriate physical boundaries from others, etc. Lots of useful knowledge, definitely fine for the older preschool set, as well as elementary school kids. A good investment of your family's time. Deborah

When AWARENESS of a risk is increased without an increase in SKILL to deal with that risk, FEAR goes up, and the quality of life goes down. It sounds like your family's awareness of home invasion has gone way up, and so has the fear of what would happen and what you could do if it happened again.

This intense fear is common among people of all ages -- especially kids -- whose personal space has been violated in some way. Developing and practicing realistic, age-appropriate self protection skills can reduce that fear. No, nothing works all the time, and having someone break into your home while you were there would always be a very dangerous situation, especially for a child. However, if a child is ALREADY AWARE of this risk, having NO plans of what s/he might try if it were to happen can make the fear of it absolutely overwhelming. ecoming familiar with the power we DO have -- to think, to move, to yell, to talk -- often helps bring overwhelming fear down to a manageable level. Alarms are great, and I hope you find a good one. In addition to having tools like strong locks and reliable alarm systems, taking steps to increase the skills we carry inside our brains & bodies all the time often increases the sense of safety and therefore the quality of life for people of all ages. You can do that through KIDPOWER, which trains people of all ages and never turns anyone away for financial reasons, and probably through some other places; ask your friends for ideas and references. You may have done all this already, including actually practicing with your kids ways to deal with the risks they're imagining. (Research shows that kids in a potentially dangerous situation are more likely to do not what they have been told but what they have actually PRACTICED.) However, I wanted to get the idea out there just in case it might help you or anyone else whose quality of life is brought down by this particular fear ebkidpower at mindspring dot com

A non-profit organization called Kidpower does weekend workshops in the Bay Area on child safety issues and in particular Stranger Danger for kids ages 4-14. They may come into schools as well. They do a good job with the younger kids of delivering the information in an objective, non-scary way and including activities in which the children feel empowered by their success. They're based in Santa Cruz. Their office number is (831)426-4407. They also have an 800 voicemail number at (800)467-6997 and an e-mail address of safety at kidpower dot org.

My kids (girls aged 11 and 8) do NOT want to hear about safety from me. But they love learning and practicing self-protection skills with Erika Holmes, a former Albany middle-school teacher who heads East Bay KIDPOWER. She is funny, non-threatening, and teaches kids how to act aware, take charge, and get help if they need it.

Erica is leading a KIDPOWER workshop in Berkeley, July 15-18. Parents meet (without kids) on Thursday night, July 15; kids meet on Saturday and Sunday from 9-1pm; parents join the kids for the last hour on Sunday from 12-1, to see what they have learned. This is a great chance for kids to learn safety skills and have fun at the same time. Call Erica Holmes for more info at 510/243-0 (zero) KID (510/243-0543). Merry (6/99)