The MANTIS Children’s Protector
“Introducing all children to self-defence”
MANTIS (Manage Any Nasty Trouble In Society) an organization that is focused on improving the lives of children and young people. We work with children and for children to provide creative solutions, interactive products and smart devices to help teach and educate in all aspects of bullying, abduction and child safety. MANTIS is proud to announce a new partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), hosted by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB). We have developed a host of simple, proven initiatives which will help to significantly empower children and young people, making them safer and building their confidence.
I had been studying and teaching Martial Arts for decades and wanted to develop a program that was suitable for all children. I wanted a system that was easy to learn and a system that was very effective in its application while also complete with an academic understanding of what to do next. A way of training that could help in the battle to conquer bullying, child abduction and a general child’s wellbeing.
In all my own learning and training, I had developed skills and techniques in the usual way by learning, drilling, testing, learning, drilling and testing some more. It took years to learn the technique and many more years to be effective in self-defence and its mind set, but as a child growing up in a less dangerous world, it was more about the education, the discipline and the journey itself.
I wanted to develop a more practical, easy and fun way for a child to learn self-defence techniques and know just enough to be able to escape violence, get away from being grabbed and then know what to do having escaped it.
I looked at successful children’s Martial Arts classes in the current market. It didn’t matter what the system was, whether a traditional Karate, Tae Kwon Do class or more modern Brazilian Jui Jutsu class, children were lined up in their traditional gi uniforms with various coloured belts wrapped around their waists and learning the various complex techniques, usually in a typical one hour class. This is great. This is wonderful for children to develop and learn future skills, balance, strength, coordination, all of which are standard benefits from studying the Martial Arts. However, there are no young 7, 8 year old martial artists, even those that have trained for a few years and already gained a legendary black belt that could truly punch, kick or grapple any adult in real life. The true benefits they are learning won’t be useful in an attack unless they stick with it, grow up with it and only then from the years of study could they possibly use those self-defence skills in the future. But what about now? What about the real threat for our children today, tomorrow, this week, this year?? I’m worried about my children being bullied or abducted during these vulnerable years, not ten years from now!
I wanted a system and some useful skills for them to use now. Some practical techniques and some real life education on dangers today without scaring the heck out of them. Sometimes Martial Arts teachers forget that children are still believing in Santa and the tooth fairy. Giving them knowledge that bad people are out there that could take them away is like teaching them of the boogy man, the troll under the bed that keeps them awake at night. This fills their mind with fear and that fear is only going to interfere with their learning, their natural ability. A recent study said all children should be taught some simple self-defence techniques without scaring them of their surroundings.
Even with bullying at school that’s on the increase each year and therefore anti-bullying classes being taught more and more, I don’t want them punching a bully in the face, or choking them out on the school playground floor. Lots are learning to strike only to then go to school where they are told not to strike.
I want them to be able to safely and confidently get away, escape, remain safe in that moment of threat and know and understand what to do next, where to go, who to go to.
I started developing a new system for my own children and for my own classes. I took techniques from my Martial Arts study, techniques I had learnt as a child and then developed over the years and started applying them specifically for young children to be able to apply at the beginning of an assault at someone twice their height and twice their weight. I looked at how they adhered to the learnings, how they grasped the techniques and what kept them interested and interacting with what I wanted them to learn so they absorbed more and absorbed more quickly.
I looked at computer games, xbox, playstation, consoles that had controllers that children couldn’t put down and just wanted to complete one more level. I looked at the music from their favourite cartoons that they hummed along too. It wasn’t just the subject I was going to teach, it was the way it was going to be delivered.
My system needed to incorporate all these things. I needed techniques that worked well, were truly effective and that could be learnt easily while at the same time were delivered in a new way that children wanted to receive. I also wanted it to be accessible to large groups, to be available to parents, schools, and Martial Arts clubs. This was a system that could be learned so easily it was for everyone, not a new Martial Art, not a complex ongoing spiritual journey, just a simple well delivered system to give our children a better chance if confronted by an attacker, a bully or a problem.
MANTIS is learned by watching, listening and practising. The new interactive Children’s protector system allows a child and parent to learn and practise together at home using an Xbox (360, 1) or a Playstation (3, 4) console or by using a DVD player and its remote control. In just over 8 weeks the first in the series can become second nature and is a large movement based platform that further detailed techniques can be taught. The Children’s Protector enables a child to release from a grab in a split second. Like catching a ball the reflex of bringing the hand up, focusing on the little finger of the hand that’s grabbed them, they can quickly turn an attacker away from them and then quickly get away. Complete 8 steps in 8 weeks by training at a reputable academy, school or gym and using a step by step spoken, demonstrated, and broken down simple interactive guide that keeps them interested in learning more and interested in continuing their development. Especially as the next step in the program are more classroom based and a little less exciting in the eyes of children although much more important in reality for today’s society.
Before moving on to the more intricate techniques and lessons there’s always an interactive test to take at the end, playing a unique interactive game gives them an aim that’s additional to their next coloured belt. Studies show children want to study every day and absorb more of the detail from their drive to complete the test. The Children’s Protector is tried and tested and it does work.
The 2nd program is The Mind sets of Mantis. It follows on from the 1st with an instruction in safety using simple academic lessons and learning plans that instil guidance, information and memory skills, all applied in the same “practise every day” kind of way with the same interactive game to complete at the end. In our opinion and study, this is much more important than physical techniques. This system teaches a child without scaring them. It teaches them how to be safer, how to be alert, how to be happy, how to tell us of any problems and who to tell of any problems to.
We deliberately launched the Children’s protector program 1st and The Mind Sets program 2nd as children gain huge benefit from movement as they generally prefer games more than academic study. So after getting them moving and learning the principles of turning against the little finger first, this second DVD keeps their attention and gets them ready to sit on the mat and learn.
The 3rd development is the Blocks of Mantis. Timing is even more important for these techniques but having drilled the principles of the first two programs becomes much easier to learn and apply and therefore avoiding the grab in the first place.
The 4th and final set is “with Mantis push back!” This turns strikes into open-palmed pushes that complete the system. Having evaded to the outside of the grab, they take the attacker off balance before running and applying the academic lessons already learnt on what to do next. The final set also brings all sets together giving the complete practise of simple body mechanics and simple mind games that can be remembered easily and under pressure now and for the future.
If you are interested in hearing more about the benefits of our system, introducing it to your existing programs, hearing about future programs and how you can get involved please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners with The
Anti-Bullying Alliance Hosted by The National Childrens Bureau.