When a spate of attempted child abductions took place in Dubai last year, this martial arts professional took it upon himself to help the community with his Stranger Danger campaign.
Tell us about your initiative.
I was worried and knew I could help. I wanted to raise awareness among children and parents of potential dangers out there. The techniques child abductors use to lure in children are very simple but very effective. To help give children the tools they need to be aware of the problem and deal with suspicious behaviour was my primary motivation.
So how did you do this?
Via schools we reached over 2,000 children. Through role play and games we taught the children (and parents) two key messages: if you’re not in school or with your parents or family you must NEVER speak to strangers (people who are bigger than you, whom you don’t know well). Plus, your number one defense against a stranger is distance. It’s not a kick, a punch or any physical technique.
Is there a real problem out here?
The UAE is very safe, no question. But we are seeing a small influence of global crime and we all need to be aware of this. Safety is a result of preparation for danger, not the absence of it.
Tell us about your qualifications.
I am the only person in the Middle East qualified to teach the Family Martial Arts Success System and also the only one who holds a black belt instructors’ level in legendary reality martial artist Geoff Thompson’s Real Combat System.