Not many physical education class curriculums include being taught to fight. At Amador Valley High School, eleventh graders are not only taught to fight, they are being taught to fight for their lives.
The high school class participated in the S.A.F.E K.I.D.S class offered by Esteller Martial Arts in Pleasanton as part of their "Body Shaping" course taught by Dawn Silva.
According to Ron Esteller, the owner of Esteller Martial Arts in Pleasanton and in San Leandro, the students walk down to the studio three days a week, for three weeks, as part of their P.E. class to learn critical self defense skills.
"We are the best kept secret in town," said Esteller. "We teach the techniques kids need to get away [from an attacker] and use 'adrenal stress training' to make it feel very real. The confidence building in this training is awesome."
The teenage girls met at the studio to fight off their "attacker" of the day, Justin Camara, an instructor from the Delta Kajukenbo School of Self Defense in Tracy. Camara, dressed in full protective gear, tried to drag each girl "to the van" as they attempted to fight him off.
Camara, 23, says he is happy to endure the kicks and punches dealt out by the girls.
"They are going to take something away from this," he said.
Syndey Gullo, an eleventh grader at Amador Valley High School, said this is the first time she has taken this class.
"I really wanted to take it," she said. "I was a little nervous in the beginning but it felt very comfortable. Before this class I probably wouldn't have known what to do being attacked. I probably would have just screamed. Now I know what to do."
Gullo says her parents are really proud of her taking the course.
Esteller has been teaching the S.A.F.E K.I.D.S class free of charge to high school students for over ten years. This year, students paid a $20 donation, which Esteller says will be used for his scholarship fund available to students depending on their need.
"S.A.F.E stands for 'survey, avoid, flee and engage'," he said. "And K.I.D.S is an acronym for 'kids in danger survive'."
Esteller offers classes for all age ranges at the Pleasanton and has students from as far away as Santa Cruz, San Ramon and Stockton. The kajukenbo martial arts he teaches at Esteller is a blend of karate (ka), ju jitsu (ju), kempo (ken) and Chinese boxing or kung fu (bo). Read his full story here.
Follow Esteller's blogs on Patch:
- S.A.F.E.K.I.D.S Anti-Abduction Strategies And Techniques
- BLOG: Esteller Martial Arts S.A.F.E Tip #1
- EMA S.A.F.E Tip #2 Security Systems
- Workplace Safety: A Martial Arts Instructor's Reaction to the Oikos University Shooting
- Martial Arts Blogger Discusses the Perils of Not Wearing a Seatbelt in the Wake of His Cousin's Death