SAFE International has taught self-defense and violence prevention to more than 200,000 high school students since 1994. We would love to have 20 hours to teach them, but the reality is we get four to five hours to impart the knowledge we feel most important. We cover many pre-physical aspects hoping with the limited time they can learn how to recognize and avoid violence, but that is not always possible. When it comes to the physical point of self-defense, we never implement a do this, then do this in any memorized fashion. I am not even a big fan of teaching knee strikes when the balance is compromised, BUT these two girls show when it may be more appropriate to utilize knee strikes.
Many self-defense instructors teach the knee to the body as a first strike, which may work. But, often to deliver a knee, the balance is compromised, resulting in the attacker taking their victim down if they continue with their forward pressure. Where a knee may have more practicality is once the attacker is in a more defensive position. These two young girls effectively do precisely that. The first girl even maintains pressure on the back of the head, making it more difficult for the simulated attacker to get up. Yes, it is a simulation, but this is an effective way for the students to attain some level of realism. You can never make it 100% real, but you can offer some level of what they can expect, then you build on it. The second girl does an excellent job of turning the knee towards her attacker’s head, delivering the strike then escaping.
SAFE International teaches approximately 8,000 high school students each year.
Managing Director, SAFE International