College for Kids hosts self-defense course

Brittany Macchiarola

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College for Kids is an opportunity for families and children to engage with the university in a fun, but learning atmosphere, said Greg Andrews, dean of the Tuscarawas campus.

He said that self-defense is an important skill for children to learn because of the dangerous society that we live in today.

Gay Welty said that she enrolled her 10-year-old son Evan in the self-defense course because it keeps him physically fit and it helps with his confidence.

Director of Business and Community Services Pat Comanitz said she noticed the self-defense training makes the children more calm, confident and respectful.

“It’s not so much hearing what they have to say, but rather the looks on their faces that tell me how much fun they’re having,” Comanitz said. “When I see them going to and from their class with Mr. Jarvis, they are calm, reserved and in line, doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Jarvis also teaches a self-defense class for children from grades five through eight. He has four students in the class, and Nate McCahill is one of them. Jarvis and the other children refer to him as “The Natural.”

“Nate is very athletic, and he just picked up on things very quickly,” Jarvis said. “He has a natural ability with the defense skills I am teaching him.”

McCahill said he has never had any self-defense training.

Jarvis said that one thing never differs between the self-defense skills he teaches his classes and his own children are the four basic rules of self-defense:

Rule No. 1: Never start a fight.

Rule No. 2: Words are not enough to start a fight.

Rule No. 3: It is OK to defend yourself.

Rule No. 4: Never strike back out of anger or revenge.

Jarvis said that self-defense is just that—self-defense. He said that he encourages children to use violence only as a last resort.

“We are hopeful that we’ll create an awareness of the importance of personal safety and security so that [kids] avoid situations that could lead to a time when they could be in danger,” Andrews said.

Contact safety reporter Brittany Macchiarola at [email protected].