No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Watchful Eye.... Hiring a Sitter?

The following is an excerpt from our Guardian Angel book:

Leaving your child with a babysitter is never easy.  Many factors have to be thought out before an individual is entrusted with your child. 

Do not leave your child with a child.  Sure there are young adults who are more than eager to earn money for sitting but they have to know the potential dangers that exist both within the house and out.  Set ups can occur with simple phone calls and invite danger to and possibly inside your house.  The young adolescent should undergo a friendly yet serious interview of, “What would you do if…”

Should the adolescent prove that they are capable of handling stressful situations and handle the interview with intelligent replies, then you are that much closer to finding a good sitter.  Although we all mature at various ages, I would not recommend a sitter under the age of 14.

Newspapers are an option for parents who are looking for a trusted sitter but it can also invite others whose profession and intent is on doing harm to a child.  Use this less personal use of advertising only as your last option. 

Even though the percentage of children who are assaulted in some way are done so by relatives or family members (85%).  We still feel that family is usually the best sitter since the child already has a relationship with the relative or family member.  Obviously keep your eyes and ears open and listen to your intuition.  If a relative or family member’s behaviour is questionable then do not trust this person to watch over your child.

If the child is upset over the individual you have asked to sit for them then ask yourself why. Do not ignore any warning signals of someone (family member or not) hurting your child.

You know your child better than anyone, but do not displace warning signs as merely a tool that the child is using since they don’t want you to go out that evening.  Take a step back from your inner circle of knowledge to the family and sitter and look at the situation from an outsider’s point of view, based on past & current factual events.

Other options include speaking to friends and neighbours, & getting information on past or current sitters, which they trust.  Before you even offer the possibility of a job to a potential sitter, you’re already one step ahead of the interview process.

If you have no luck with neighbours, or friends, try the local community center, or familiarize yourself with other parents on a parent’s night at a local school.  The more people you get to know, the more options you will have at your disposal.  Not only is it resourceful to know more parents but can also be therapeutic in many other areas to a certain extent.   Think about it, you already share something in common with another parent, you both have a child.  Take that in any direction you choose (child rearing, babysitter advice, adolescent behaviours, adult conversation, etc).

Once you located someone and have gone through the interview process with good results then the next step is introducing the potential new sitter to your child.  This way you will be able to see exactly how the potential sitter interacts with your child.  Keep in mind that what you see may not be what will occur if you weren’t there.  Pay the individual for their time for this aspect of the interview (it’s certainly worth it) but allow alone time.  Do not turn your back and go about your business with this person in full charge of your child but allow at least 30 minutes of time to pass where you have left the room but still keep all within ear shot & use your awareness to judge how the everything is going between your child and the sitter.

Always check references! Even if the individual came recommended by someone you know, take the time to check  more than one reference.

Do not allow the sitter to have visitors come by unless it is someone you know and trust as well as your sitter.

If you have a dog, cat or other then introduce the family pet to your sitter to see how the two will get along.  Keep in mind that certain animals (especially dogs) can become very protective of the household and your children if you are no longer there.  Make sure your animal is properly trained for such circumstances.

If at any point you have a “feeling” that something is not right about leaving your child with the intended sitter then Don’t!!  Even if you have to make up a lie to end the evening early or before it even began, then do so!  It is your body’s way of saying that something just isn’t right.  You may not know why in the moment or even ever but it is a feeling in response to something that occurred (whether through dialogue or body language or other) and although your conscious mind may not have caught onto it, your subconscious did.  Pay Attention! 
Once a sitter has been chosen, then the next step should be to show the house to the sitter and make them aware of any specialty locks on windows or doors that they should know about in case of an emergency.  Show them other phone lines available in the house, along with fire extinguishers.  Indicate what windows can be climbed out of should the need arise and other emergency exits.  Make sure all doors are properly locked and can be opened and relocked by your sitter.  If you have a pool, the pool area should be well locked.  Quiz them on it and go over details again to make sure they’re aware of all you’ve shown them and can react quickly in case of an emergency.

Emergency numbers should be left by the phone for obviously…emergency situations.  Numbers of where you can be reached, including your cellular phone number(s) is best.  In case you cannot be reached, numbers of family members, friends, neighbours or others who are trust worthy should be noted.  The obvious police, fire, hospitals, doctor’s numbers, poison control centres, etc. should be included.  Information should be clearly typed so there is no confusion in deciphering a phone number during an emergency.

Should your child have an allergy, it is imperative that you advise and remind your sitter of this condition and what to do and who to call in case your child has an allergic reaction.  If medication has to be given, a list of how to administer the proper doses and which medicines at what time is highly important.   If you can have a print out of your child’s medical history readily available to your sitter then should the need arise, your sitter will be more capable of seeking the proper help from the authorities while waiting for the professionals to arrive and help.

On the list of phone numbers make sure you have included your full address with cross streets indicated should the proper authorities need further information as to the whereabouts of the emergency. 

Before leaving the house, check for objects or hazards that should be noted to the sitter or tidied away by yourself or child.  Theses hazards could include toys in the walkway, matches, lighter fluid, plastic bags, easily accessible medications, poisons or other possible dangerous items.

If you do have a dog or cat and they have a little door by which they leave and enter at will, point this out to your sitter.  Also make sure that this area is strictly safe guarded so your child doesn’t use this as an exit.

Along with the emergency numbers list it would be handy to have a checklist for your sitter to follow through once you have left for the evening.  Aside from the above stated safety measures include times in which certain lights are to be turned on around the house. 

A child should never be left alone for too long.  Even if the child is playing quietly or sleeping, make sure your sitter knows to periodically check up on your child. 

In case of an emergency, should the sitter feel that they have to exit the home quickly, advise them to do so with the child.

A sitter should be advised as to whom they may open the door for.  If an individual persists in coming into the house, the sitter should have been instructed to contact the Police immediately.

Do not feel shy or embarrassed in any way by presenting your rules and regulations to your sitter.  You are not being paranoid; you’re being a well-prepared parent who is taking their child’s safety to heart.  Better to prevent than circumvent. 

Apathy & denial makes victims of us all.

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