China: After School Attacks, Children Learn Self-Defense
Chinese children attend a self-defense class at a Kung fu school.
According to Chinese state media, admission to these classes in Beijing has risen by at least 20 percent since April.
It’s a growing response to many deadly attacks that have taken place in Chinese schools in recent months, the first of these in March, when an unemployed doctor killed eight children and injured five others at a primary school.
Kung fu Instructor Zhang Xiaohang now teaches about 10 classes per week, a total of more than 60 kids.
[Zhang Xiaohang, Head Kung Fu Instructor, Changzhen Kung Fu School]:
„There have been many changes recently. Before, only one or two students would come to class, but since last week, we have received about 30 inquiries. A lot of parents register their children for the self-defense class without much hesitation. This trend did not exist before. Parents are putting more emphasis on children’s safety.“
Some children get more out of the classes than just self-defense.
[Deng Ziheng, Student]:
„I am a little bit fat so I want to lose some weight. Second of all, there have been many school attacks recently and I want to know how to prevent such attacks. So it is best if I learn these skills.“
Ten-year-old He Shizhou is a two-year veteran of the class. He said that if attacked, he will first try to escape.
[He Shizhou, Student]:
„First of all, I will use defense skills my teacher has taught me. If not, I will use my bag to hit the potential attacker.“
There have been six attacks on Chinese schools in the last two months, leaving 18 people dead and more than 80 wounded.