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Parents Beware!

A few years back a frantic mother stormed into my school visibly upset, pleading me to help her.

She went on to tell me that her son got beat up by a school bully. While I understood how stressful this could be for a parent, her reaction about it led me to believe that there was more to the story, and I was right!

She told me that her 10-year-old boy held a first-degree black belt from a large franchise karate school (aka McDojo). She went on to explain that she spent thousands of dollars on karate lessons for her child the past year and a half, including paying one thousand dollars just for his black belt! She was angry that he couldn’t protect himself, and she had every right to be.

Before determining whether or not I could train the child, I met with him him. When I saw him, my heart sank. In front of me stood a small, scrawny child with two black eyes, a busted nose and lip, and a gash across his forehead that had required stitches. This child was not just beat up, he was physically assaulted! I felt sad for this boy, and angry that he had been assaulted in such a way. I then vowed to train him so this would never happen to him again.

This kid was no black belt.

When we began training. The first thing I did was evaluate his skill level. After all, he was given a 1st degree black belt! We began with physical training. He was very weak and couldn’t do any push-ups, or any other strengthening exercise. He told me that exercises were not part of his karate classes, they did fun things like games!

The he showed me some karate techniques. He could jump and perform kicks in the air, but he did not know any usable self defense techniques. He only knew techniques needed for performances, and demonstrations. When I asked him about sparring, he informed me that they only did “air sparring”. No contact, just facing each other and hitting the air to make believe they were fighting.

Whaaaaaaattt??? Can you imagine! Here was a child who truly believed that he was a black belt, and that he could defend himself. He had a false sense of confidence, instilled into him by a phony teacher, but the kid was not physically, or tactically capable of defending himself at all!

Folks, Martial Arts are defined as codified systems and traditions of Combat for Self-defense. If your child is being taught to dance around, play games, but not practice fighting - through actual sparring and/or grappling - then you are being taken advantage of, and your child’s safety is at risk!

If you can't train at a legitimate school, consider getting some friends together to practice and train The Short Fight curriculum from my book. Once you learn the techniques, teach them to your kids, I have taught them to mine. In the book I teach combative techniques as well as combat-specific physical fitness training to help smaller, weaker individuals defend themselves.

If you're interested in learning essential self-defense techniques and tactics, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

You'll receive free lifetime access to my video library that contains over 100 self-defense and fitness videos at

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out our fitness training programs here

Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


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