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Wednesday, December 07, 2016
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Balogun Ojetade, the founder, director, and master instructor of the Afrikan Martial Arts Institute, and co-chair of the Urban Survival and Preparedness Institute (USPI).
They will be hosting a Youth Survival Open House event Sunday, December 11, at the Northwest Atlanta Library at Scott's Crossing, 2489 Perry Boulevard, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. It aims to start to teach survival tips and practical survival training for children, tweens, and teens. This event is free and open to the public.
We spoke with Balogun Ojetade by phone Tuesday.
"The Youth Survival Open House is an event to teach the youth how to survive during these trying times," he said.
"We're going to deal with how to handle police brutality. We're going to deal with human trafficking. In Atlanta, Georgia, where the open house is taking place, Atlanta, Georgia, is number one in the country in child sex traffic. So we decided to teach children how to be safe and avoid abduction.
"And then we're dealing with bullies, also. How to deal with, avoid, and if you can't avoid, how to physically manage a bully."
There will be three sessions on these topics at the Youth Survival Open House, from 2 PM to 5:30 PM.
Of course, this event can only be the start of this type of education and training. Successfully dealing with them, he said, requires training in the martial arts.
While this event will show to the youth in attendance just a few martial arts techniques, "Hopefully they will enroll in a self-defense class somewhere or enroll in an ongoing martial arts class to help themselves.
"I fully believe that the key to ending bullying is for the victim and the bully to study martial arts."
We thus discussed a lot about the martial arts, including why studying disciplines like judo and muay Thai is essential, the importance of grappling and how African martial arts are based in grappling, wrestling takedowns for self-defense, how good throws can stop bullies, and why the goal here is first to avoid danger.
"There's an absolute need, always has been, a strong need for people to learn to defend themselves. This is a dangerous world that we live in," he said.
That need has become even more immediate with the rise of openly racist and fascist elements in both the U.S. and the world.
"But the climate now," he stressed, "if you're not training now, you really are either ignorant of what's going on or lazy or you're just playing with your own life."
And he cited an open gathering in April of white supremacists not far from Atlanta.
"That tells me that there's something really bad coming."
In addition, we discussed the need for every woman to take a self-defense course; the role of Nzinga Mbande, sometimes known as Queen Nzinga, the 17th century leader of the Mbundu people in modern-day Angola, in developing the martial arts; the drawings on the walls of the ancient tombs of Beni Hasan in today's Egypt, made some four to five thousand years ago, which show training in wrestling and martial arts techniques; and much, much more.
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