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Big Bad Wolves for Moms

May 18, 2011

Why should kids get to have all the fun? In this case, the Pujols Family Foundation and St. Louis Family Martial Arts Academy are giving the moms of children with Down syndrome the chance to get in on the fun as well. Last summer the Foundation hosted its first session of Big Bad Wolf Self Defense classes for people with Down syndrome. It was a wonderful success with them learning the verbal and physical skills needed to protect themselves. However, these skills are not just useful for kids but also for adults. Deidre Pujols had a passion for the moms to have a chance to take part in these classes as well.

Starting in April of 2011, classes began meeting one hour a week for six weeks. Each class begins with group stretching in preparation for the physical activity that is coming next. A review of the previous weeks skills are revisited to further ingrain them into the mind and body. New moves are then introduced and practiced several times. They have learned hits, kicks, and how to get away if someone grabs them, as well as how to utilize weapons of opportunity.

Dwight Trower, owner and instructor of St. Louis Family Martial Arts Academy emphasizes, “I am not trying to teach you the right or wrong way to handle yourself in these situations. I am teaching you different techniques that you will be able to use if you find yourself in a dangerous situation”.
Many of the women have shared during the classes how they have been able to practice some of these moves at home or even been more aware of their surroundings and possible need to use their new skills.

Although the content is serious, the class is always fun and upbeat. A camaraderie has formed between the mothers in the class. They are always encouraging of each other and provide extra help when needed. Even though they have children of different ages, this class has been unifying. Although difficult at times, the skills learned in the class have empowered the women to feel like they are much more equipped to defend themselves if necessary.


May 18, 2011
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