By: Noelle Gardner
(WTNH) — Adam Rylski teaches students how to protect themselves and live a healthy lifestyle through martial arts. Rylski’s program builds character development and self-confidence, which is why his weekly after-school classes are a hit in elementary schools throughout the state.
“The first thing and the most important thing we teach them is martial arts is not about fighting. Martial arts is about self defense, it’s getting yourself out of danger, getting yourself out of trouble, make sure you are protecting yourself and the people around you,” Rylski said.
In class, the students learn about self defense, stranger danger and how not to become a victim of a bully.
“We teach the children what to say, how to act, what to do and to prevent it, not to put themselves in those situations,” Rylski added.
Rylski says teaching kids at a young age is key and so is repetition, “You can never train too much for bullies or stranger danger. You have to be able to do it second nature in order to protect yourself.”
Students at St. Gabriels are learning martial arts for the first time. Tracie Averaimo has a child enrolled in Rylski’s classes “I think it is very important to them. They learn self defense and to defend themselves and they learn not to be afraid and that’s important especially with everything going on in the world.”
The program builds assertiveness, a key ingredient in self confidence. Parents say it’s piece of mind. “It’s an added bonus. It’s something extra that they know how to do,” Averaimo said.