The Hamden Journal


Hamden, Connecticut                                      April 1, 2011

Page 15   

Sports & Recreation                                                                                                                                    


Children’s Self-Defense for the Streets

Children's Self-Defense for the Streets - Academy of Kempo Martial Arts - Frank Ciarleglio - January Street Clothes Week March 14, 20011 - The Hamden Jounal - April 1, 2011 -  Little Dragons Class - backpacks –  Eyad Salem, Celina Caicedo, Imaan Massod, Areli Jimenez 

Some of the children in the Little Dragons Class practicing how to get out of their backpacks – (front from left to right) Eyad Salem, Celina Caicedo, Imaan Massod, (back) Areli Jimenez.


During the week of March 14, the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts in Hamden held their “Children’s Self-Defense for the Streets – Winter Street Clothes Week,” which is when the students wore their regular clothes to class. On one of the days during the week, the children wore their school clothes, and on the other day, they wore the clothes that they would normally hang out in. For the children who participate in our free style fighting class – sparring class, they chose a different style of clothes to wear. The Academy also asked the students to bring in any accessories they use on a daily basis, such as backpacks and shoulder bags.

At the Academy, it is important for the students to understand their Martial Arts movements and how to use them in a real situation. “With all of the bullying and crime towards children on the rise, there are more parents coming into the Academy with self-defense on their mind. This week’s lesson plan brought the students’ understanding of self-defense to a new level. Our students learned how to overcome the restrictions that their clothes may impose on their movements and how to defend against someone who is trying to use their clothes (such

See Defense, Page 21

Defense ~ Continued from Page 15

as hoods, hats, jackets, etc.) against them. Another part of the Children’s Self-Defense for the Streets – Street Clothes Week was learning how to defend against someone trying to use the accessories against them, as well as learning how to use those same accessories as a self-defense tool,” said Shihan Frank Ciarleglio, a 5th Degree Black Belt and Instructor at the Hamden Academy.

“Self-defense is not all about the punches or kicks; it is also about utilizing your minds. Our lesson plan covered things such as: being aware of your surroundings, stranger danger situations (which covers only a small percentage of the danger towards children), so we also cover what to do when approached by someone who is friends with the family. We teach these techniques in such a way so that the children do not become frightened and paranoid. We also cover dealing with bullies, peer pressure, and techniques on how to handle themselves in those types of situations,” said Ciarleglio.

The Academy of Kempo Martial Arts is known for the quality of their self-defense programs, which goes way beyond the physical aspects. In fact, the Academy teaches that the punches and kicks should be used as a last resort. “We teach conflict resolution techniques to the children to help them avoid using their punches and kicks. At the Academy, we understand the rules within the school systems, that there is no tolerance for violence, and we work with that rule in mind, helping children and parents to resolve school issues. We do teach, though, that nobody has the right to hurt you and, if someone is approaching you with the intention of inflicting bodily harm, that you have the right to defend yourself,” said Ciarleglio.

The instructors at the Academy are there to help the children not only with knowing how to handle themselves in a physical conflict, but also how to handle the things that happen to them on a daily basis.

For more information on the Academy, please call 203.288.9990 or visit them on the web at



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