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Kids Enjoy Self Defense Class
Fighting with staves was the specialty that day; the youngsters were having a great time learning to lunge and parry and ward off blows with the long staff.

Because of their youth and inexperience, teacher Scott Pettit commented that was as far as he would go with weapons training. He would omit instruction with the sharp edged swords and knives his older students learn to handle.

Pettit is the owner and chief instructor of the private Karate for Kids Academy but this was a special Karate Camp he was putting on for the Riverbank Recreation Department.

"Come and learn self defense, how to deal with bullies and strangers, build self-esteem and build confidence while learning Tae Kwon Do (The Way of the Foot)," read the advertising.

Eighteen children of ages six to 13 signed up for the June 30-July 3 camp held mornings only at the downtown Academy and several parents were along to watch their budding karate champions at the July 1 class.

While teaching the traditional unarmed combat of karate, Pettit was also training the children on how to handle strangers who approach them on the street or in a park or other public places where their parents or teachers are not there to protect them.