Hidy Ochiai – Self Defense for Children
Throughout his stay in New York City from the time that he emigrated from Japan, Hidy Ochiai has seen a tremendous need for children to have the basic knowledge of self defense to live and grow up in a city that has shown a dark and vindictive side time and again. Master Ochiai was struck and motivated by the crimes within the city even in school playgrounds and also the lack of self esteem among young children.
After a lot of thought and a series of meetings Hidy Ochiai was able to convince the New York Department of Education about the need for a program that would help children deal effectively with bullying at school and at the same time enable them to respect their fellow mates and themselves. With this basic logic at the fore the Educational Karate Program (EKP) was established in 1984 by the master himself.
The program is a simple class that teaches children and young adults the importance of self defense, the need to respect themselves and school mates by promoting peace within individuals and others. It addresses core violence tendencies and shows students how to address their aggravations through group and individual training. The techniques used are basic and simple forms of karate that are incorporated seamlessly into the existing physical education programs of the school.
It also teaches children how to protect themselves in the face of abduction or in typical street violence scenarios that are so necessary for all individuals today. The children are taught by certified teachers who are generally staff members but have been trained in the Masters school of thought and technique. Classes begin from kindergarten right up to grade 12 with age specific training in self defense, control, esteem and team work.
Additionally the two-way approach of the program involves parents and guardians at the community level through the community training program. Children and adults alike have benefited immensely from this program.
At teacher level the Educational Karate Program promotes a feeling of well being and self control and attitudinal relations with students, peers and management. All teachers are trained by a trained and certified EKP coordinator. The training rendered within this program is carried out in easy to comprehend and practices stages that have to be mastered before moving on to the next level, so as to ensure that each teacher is trained well.
Hidy Ochiai has profoundly developed this curriculum to aid the essentials of personal mental and physical self defense and violence prevention strategies while being in charge of children and young adults. The 100 hour training curriculum has benefited teachers immensely; they claim to have a better balance of physical and mental health, a deep sense of empowerment together with improved self esteem and a feeling of vitality during teaching hours.
State Leaders, important personalities and school heads have shown a thumbs up to the educational Karate Program from the word go. They believe that Hidy Ochiai has taught children not only the essentials of self defense but an overwhelming attitude against violence on the whole.