Defence programme educates children to be aware of abductors

By Rahia Timutimu

Statistics New Zealand figures show more than 84 children were kidnapped last year. Because of this, Charlie Tamati has been taking a defence course programme for children for nearly a year now, to prepare them if they feel unsafe. He spoke to Te Kāea about this programme.

Shihan Charlie Tamati has been taking a defence course programme for girls after the high number of child kidnappings.

Shihan Charlie Tamati, “Funnily enough I noticed there was attempting abduction in schools, Auckland sport funded the course.”

The course, held in Auckland, is based on Shorin Kempo Kaikan karate fighting. Tamati has trained 60 kids in the year it's been held.

Blythe Perry says, “I started it so I could defend myself, and feel confident when I'm walking by myself.”

Fiona Perry says, “We found out about this through her school and we just thought it could help with fitness.”

Basic defensive skills are shown to the kids if they are approached by an abductor.

Tamati says, “I think one of the biggest ones is building the confidence of these girls, they know they can do something if something happens.”

The course takes on 10 students a month, who train three afternoons a week.

Tamati says, “Parents out there, just get your kids into something, you know they’re in soccer, rugby, why not get them into something that can help them, not only with their sport but with their safety.”

From its inception, Charlie only trained girls, as they were targeted mostly by abductors. However, he says he is now starting to train boys as well, as they too have been targeted.