Time For Change

written by Kris Costa

The hearts at Mindset are deeply saddened by recent events at Umpqua Community College.

Unfortunately, it is my belief that this will not be the last school shooting to take place. The rash of violence spreading across the nation against our schools and the innocents within is nothing short of evil.

My appreciation goes to the first responders, medical responders, crisis centers and others, whose grim tasks now include and necessitate drill upon drill of reacting to such domestic terrorist emergencies. No longer carrying an element of sheer surprise, these tragedies have become scenarios whose practiced responses are now a matter of protocol in our American culture. The re-enforced skill sets of our task forces, and other emergency preparedness teams and individuals have no doubt increased the likelihood of surviving such a horrifying scenario, however, much needs to be discussed and implemented to avert the terrorist act in the first place. It is not enough to deal with the after effects. These occurrences MUST be eliminated. It is my opinion that the most influential to facilitate effective change in our own schools lie with us, the civilian public.

I often wonder how many parents have asked the serious questions to our schools regarding  security and preventative measures, and if so asked, what are the responses?

Our government representatives and the like, will address various talking points around gun control, mental health, etc., all of which are vital and valid and necessary discussions to have,  for quite some time to come. However, let us not forget that it is not the government’s responsibility to appoint school security to all the schools in the nation and regulate it. Our Legislative branch will provide rules to govern society, and the Judicial branch will set ramifications when violations occur. The police and others will respond to such violations. However, the job of keeping our schools safe lie with us, the proactive general public. It simply is not acceptable or effective to wait around in fear for someone, or some other body of people, to do the job we need to be doing, which is stand up for safety of our youth and other personnel in schools.

If you are a parent, have you questioned your child’s school on security procedures? Do you know what the procedure is concerning lock down? Do you know if those procedures are drilled with any regularity? What situations are covered? Most importantly, how is the school addressing preventative measures? How is the school physically secured? Are there increased security measures in place?  Are there “No Gun Zone” signs posted? Does your school believe that is a deterrent? Would they consider additional preventative security measures if the budget for such could be supplemented? Would you pull your child/young adult out of the school if you were not satisfied with their answers? Is there a parent group formed and it is applying pressure  (and support) to the school to make the hard decisions and take serious action?

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Do your children know how to adapt to life where they hear about school shootings in the news regularly? Do they really feel safe? And there is so much more.

If it is not worth the effort to find the answers to the above, and more so, to do everything possible in our power to protect our children in school, then we may loose a lot more lives waiting for others to address these issues on our behalf. I believe in prevention, and it begins in our own neighborhoods. Speak up, form a collective, offer solutions, pressure the schools to respond, financially contribute. It’s not about who “should” be doing what, it is about doing the best we can and now. Lives matter.

There are so many facets to the issue of school violence and violence prevention. Enforcing physical boundaries against it, before it happens, may just be the easy part.

Here is the real question: If we could go back to the day before each school shooting, knowing what we know now, would there be one thing that could be done differently?  If the answer is no, then there is no need to pay attention to this post.

~KBC

Emergency Preparedness- The Series

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Emergency Preparedness-The Series

Part 1-Overview


 

You probably never heard of Staten Island, the small borough I grew up on in NYC. I never once thought about hurricanes or massive flooding from the ocean that lie just a few feet from where I lived and played. However, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, you now may know where S.I. is. Residents are still recovering, just as others are from Katrina and countless other natural disasters and challenges. Thanks to Dan Ronin for this series, and Tim Ralston’s Preparedness column, for teaching us what we need to learn to be prepared and manage a crisis.

-Kris Costa

Are you ready?

By ready I mean prepared, prepared for most tragedies that might befall you, your family or community. Whether it is a natural or man made disaster there are steps you should take immediately to insure your safety and survival. First your family needs a plan. You all should know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. It is highly
possible the phones will not operate. There is a remote possibility your car won’t or can’t be used. You should have a back up plan for the family members who can’t follow the plan on their own. A disaster can come in many forms. Here are a few examples, I’m sure you can think of many more:Earthquake, Fire, Volcano, Tornado, Tsunami, Hurricane, Flood, Extreme drought, Mudslide, Epidemic, Pandemic, Plague, Nuclear War, Chemical or Biological attack, Rioting, Gas or food shortage, Marshal law, EMP, Financial collapse or Terrorist attack.

For most of man kinds existence it was natural to grow food to eat now and store food for leaner times. Sometime ago people started to label others who were prepared for disaster;
“survivalist”or “prepper” usually with a bad connotation.

Where did we go wrong? Doesn’t it make sense to have emergency preparations? A plan in case the worst happens? I think it makes perfect sense, so let’s look at what you should do.

First of all what do you need? Well it depends on your plan and/or the situation, like whether you are going to stay at your home or have to evacuate. Obviously staying home is
easier, however sometimes it is not an option and you might have to evacuate, maybe in quite a hurry. Here is a list of essential items you would be glad you had in case you needed them.

1. Water
2. Food
3. Shelter
4. Weaponry
5. First-aid
6. Transportation

Let’s Break it down….

Water
Remember you can go several days without food. It won’t be comfortable but you will live. . The same is not true of water, without water you will die. Painfully, in a short period of time. You should store and rotate large water cooler type bottles in your home. I recommend a minimum of 1 per person and they should be replaced every couple of years . There are many alternatives to not having water stored. First of all if you have enough warning you could fill up your bathtubs, sinks and any portable receptacle you might have. If not your water heater is full of fresh water that you can drain. If you have a pool you can filter or treat the water in it. You should have a couple of ways to purify water to drink. Most people have chlorine liquid bleach. A few drops of bleach in a gallon of water will kill most pathogens. Boiling will also work, remember “big bubbles, no troubles”! You can acquire chemical treating tablets that will purify water from most outdoor or camping stores as well as various filtering options. If you go with a method like filtering or chemically treating as opposed to storing then you need to practice using it so you know how to correctly do it when the time comes. Obviously a combination of all options is best.

Food
The easiest way to build an emergency food storage is to buy a little extra each time you go to the store. Things like canned and dry goods have a very long shelf life such as tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans, rice and pasta. Keep all canned and dry goods rotated for maximum freshness. The next option is dehydrated and freeze dried food. You can find a very wide variety of food that has been either dehydrated or freeze dried. Both options are very effective for long term food storage and have the added benefit of being ultra light. If you own a home or rent an apartment there are many ways to have a garden. While it is difficult at best to grow enough food to eat, it is a nice fresh addition to your menu. If allowed you could also keep chickens and reap the benefit of the regular eggs. Hunting, fishing and gathering are last on the list but you have to do what you have to do to survive. So learning to hunt and fish is a good idea as well as becoming confident with what foods grow wild in your area and where to find them. Just as with water, have a
plan, be prepared and use a combination of food sources.

Read more on Shelter, Weaponry, First-aid, and Transportation on page 21-22.

-Dan Ronin
RoninDan
Dan Ronin has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He is a
combat veteran who served as a Military Police Investigator in the
Army for 8 1/2 years. Dan offers classes in Counter-Attack self defense
for open hands and weaponry, as well as disaster/emergency
preparedness. Contact Dan at dan@roninproducts.com or
602-373-9630

 

Bully Proof Your Children

Bully

by David Bravo

Being a victim of bullying myself when I was young, I understand the effects bullying can have on a child’s life. All the motivation that a child has to succeed in school, sports, and any endeavor in life, comes from a child’s confidence and self-esteem. A bully robs a child of those very important attributes, and that can have a negative impact on the rest of their life.

Of all the memories I have of growing up, the times I was bullied remain some of the most vivid of all my memories. I can still tap into the emotions I felt in those moments. Lets first make sure we have a clear understanding of what bullying is and is not. If someone calls you a name, teases you about something, attempts to manipulate you for their benefit, or even puts their hands on you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting bullied.

There are plenty of mean, selfish people in the world who do and say such things to people. Bullying is when someone, or a group of people, single one person or a group of people out, and routinely aggravate, belittle, humiliate, intimidate, abuse, etc. that person or group. Bullying is usually not a one-time, isolated incident. It typically continues for days, weeks, or even months, if not dealt with.

Bullies are often misrepresented as children with low self-esteem, or children who suffer from abuse at home. In fact these categories make up a very small percentage of the bullies who are out there. According to the book, “Bullies and Victims in Schools,” by Valerie E. Besag, 96% of children will be bullied at least once in their lifetime. Of those children, 46% will suffer poor grades or will abstain from extra-curricular activities because of the bullying.

I want to help you give your child the confidence, self-esteem, and knowledge needed to defend themselves against bullies. Teaching children self-respect and self-worth are where the help must start. Instill in children, a belief system whereby they can say “I am valuable and worth protecting.” Furthermore, 2% of those children will commit suicide because of constant harassment from classmates.

When those beliefs are instilled in children two things occur:

1. They will have the confidence to stand up for themselves when faced with abuse.

2. They will realize the value of respect and will be less likely to bully others.

HOW TO HANDLE A BULLY

This is an integral part of our philosophy at Premier Martial Arts. It is in understanding conflict that we can begin to overcome problems, and prevent it. If conflict should arise, we have the option of neutralizing it quickly and humanely. Over the years, we have devised this simple and effective program to resolve conflict and give the student a way to resolve a conflict peacefully and walk away with dignity. A great teacher taught me that the best way of self defense is to “have no enemies”. This is the basis for this guide.

MAKE FRIENDS. The person with the most friends always wins! If, through kindness and respect, diplomacy and charm, we set out to be the friendliest student at our school, we are less likely be bullied. As parents, we can help our children build these valuable social skills through modeling and role playing.

TELL EVERYONE you have a problem with this person, especially parents and teachers. If any trouble arises, everyone will know who created the problem. It is the responsibility of the SCHOOL to keep our children safe from bullying. Some schools claim to have a “ZERO TOLERANCE” policy. But many times this is just lip service. You can’t prevent bullying before it happens, and schools don’t expel every student who bullies others. However, if bullying is reported by your child, the school MUST take action immediately to address the situation. If it continues the bully must be removed from the school.

AVOID. Keep away from the bully. Don’t return harsh insults, or looks. Stay out of the same room and simply don’t listen to their comments. You can’t be bullied if the bully isn’t in your presence.

DRAW A LINE.Teach your child to create a safety cushion if someone bullies them or makes them feel scared. When someone is bullying you and you can’t get an adult involved, it’s best to take action as soon as you can. If someone calls you a name or puts their hands on you, tell them to stop. As you get older you will learn the importance of handling problems when they are small. Remember, it’s a lot easier to blow out a match then to put out a forest fire. Do not ignore problems. If your belly hurts, tell your mom, if you’re having trouble in school, ask the teacher for help right away and if a bully is picking on you, take action and tell them to stop. Bullies want to pick on easy victims who won’t stick up for themselves.

If the bully continues, then you will increase the volume of your voice and put on a more intense facial expression. Once again create space, and in a louder more confident voice say: “I said, don’t touch me!!!”Tell them: “I don’t want to fight, but I will protect myself!” Show confidence, get double arms distance in between you and them and put your hands up.

NEUTRALIZE. This means to run away, defend yourself and do whatever is necessary to keep yourself from being injured. No one has the right to hurt you. And no one has the right to put their hands on you in an aggressive manner. You DON’T have to wait for them to attack you before you take action, but BE CAREFUL!! If you don’t have the fighting skills to protect yourself, don’t fight. It will only lead to you taking a beating and getting further humiliated. Instead, get the training you need to protect yourself. While nobody has a right to hurt you in any way, YOU are responsible for your own personal safety and developing the skills necessary to protect yourself.

Premier Martial Arts

Offering the finest in family martial arts, our Personal Achievement Program focuses on human development. Our proven character building Black Belt Success System instills empowering life skills including:

* Self Esteem Building – promoting healthy attitudes and well being about oneself 
* Focus Skills – promotes increased concentration and listening skills which improve grades
* Discipline & Respect – instills good habits at home & school

* Self Control – to focus energy in a positive manner
* Goal Setting & Achievement – to break through limitation

For seminars or information on classes where these strategies and more are taught, call Premier Martial Arts at:
(602) 909-0840.