Sunday, June 7, 2015

Self Defense For School Teachers

Professor Hausel, Grandmaster of Seiyo No Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Kai
teaching other karate instructors and school teachers in the art of Okinawan
karate in Mesa, Arizona.
Many students in the Department of Education at the University of Wyoming participated in training in traditional karate at the University of Wyoming Campus Shorin-Ryu Karate and Kobudo club. The training provided physical fitness as well as self-defense training. The UW club also taught many clinics to university students, staff and faculty over 30 years as well as nursing groups, EMT and librarians. All people attending the University Club activities felt they had learned something of great value. 

As Soke (grandmaster) Hausel moved this hombu from the University of Wyoming to the Arizona Hombu in Mesa, Arizona, other groups took advantage of this training including Chandler Librarians, Mesa girl scouts, Gilbert women's groups and other men's and women's groups. Several school teachers now train at the Hombu regularly as do some professors and many women. Soke Hausel also taught missionaries and clergy martial arts while at the University of Wyoming and University of Utah.

There has been a rise in the number of school teachers and professors training in karate and self-defense. The notable increase in teachers learning self-defense is likely influenced by an increase in physical attacks on teachers around the world. It is our philosophy that NO TEACHER SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND.

When Soke Hausel taught martial arts at theUniversity of Wyoming over 3 decades, by far, the largest group of martial arts students came from Engineering. The martial arts classes were filled with civil, electrical, mechanical, petroleum, mining, architectural, structural and chemical engineers and only a few from the education department. YetEducation was a large college and the martial arts club and classes were primarily located in the Education Building Gym - so one would have anticipated more from that department. 

It is apparent teachers are wary of the dangers associated with teaching and tired of being out-of-control. Being proficient in self-defense provides self-confidence along with physical and metal well-being. In the first quarter of 2015, nearly 20% of our student population at the Arizona Hombu were teachers, retired teachers and university faculty. As a teacher, what would you do if a student walked into the room with a gun? Would you cower under a desk and hope the police arrived in time, or would you take action and try to take the gun & how would you get that gun out of their hands? How do you defend against that irate parent who takes a punch at you, kicks you, pulls a knife - or even worse, reads you some political propaganda. We teach our students to defend against these types of attacks (except the political propaganda - you're on your own for that one).

Imagine how much more at peace you would feel by burning calories while learning karateself-defense and kobudo. And why would you train in all three? Karate provides the basis for all personal self-defense and teaches you to react in stressful situations by rote, known to martial artists as mushin. In our Self-defense class, we focus on all kinds of situations including grabs, punches, kicks, chokes & defenses against clubs, knives, guns, rifles, swords, etc. And we include training with common everyday weapons, such as those tools sitting in front of you right now - such as that book, magazine, stapler, keyboard, cell phone, pencil, pen, salt shaker, paperweight, computer disc, rock, towel, coins, belt, etc.

CNS news (6/10/2014) reported a record number of teachers had been physically assaulted during the 2011-2012 school year. The number of assaults on teachers were up 34.5% for a record 209,800 assaults during the school year. On average, more than 1100 teachers were attacked per school day. Reported physical assaults included striking, kicking, biting, slapping, stabbing and shooting (NEA). And this did not include the tens of thousands of acts of harassment against teachers.

In an act of extreme racism, Eric Holder (AG for Obama) sent out a memo instructing public schools to cease punishing students if they were part of a favorable racial category (Daily Caller). It is bad enough teachers are harassed by students and administrators, but this type of a Gothic governing tells teachers they need to be selective in who they allow to attack them. It also sends a message to students that government will protect and reward them for abuse.

According to the American Psychological Association, 80% of teachers surveyed were victimized at school at least once. According to the article, nearly half of teachers reported being harassed which included obscene gestures and remarks, verbal threats and intimidation, and social media threats. And in many cases, physical assaults not only were delivered by students, but also parents. CNS news (3/10/2011) indicated female teachers were more likely to be assaulted.

Recently the NEA reported a group of students in Carson City, Nevada constructed a Facebook page entitled ‘Attack a Teacher Day'. At the same time, a high school student in Omaha, Nebraska, shot both his principal and vice principal. In Surprise, Arizona, a 12-year old smashed a computer keyboard against the head of a teacher and then kicked and punched the teacher until police arrived. In New Hampshire, an 8th grade teacher was body-slammed by a student. 

The Telegraph (9/2/2011) reported one-in-five teachers had been physically assaulted at school, while others had been threatened on Facebook including a student in Pennsylvania who was seeking donations to hire a hit man. It is our opinion, the problem begins at home with ethically-challenged parents. This problem is exacerbated by administrators and parents who refuse to punish students.

Recently, we provided self-defense training for a group of Chandler Librarians who were astonished to find they were surrounded by self-defense weapons. The group was taught not only to use their hands, feet and knees, but also to use books, magazines, keys, pens, markers, belts, coins, purses, etc. for self-defense weapons. At a recent clinic for girl scouts, the students were asked to bring their school backpacks to the clinic and taught how to use the contents in these back packs for self-defense. A group of lady joggers from Mesa were taught that they also carried weapons including car keys, coins, rings.

It is recommended schools, teachers and students attend traditional martial arts programs either in public schools or in private martial arts schools to learn discipline and self-defense and respect for others. This may not be a fix, but it is at least a start. 

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