Bullying leads Waco mom to enroll daughter in self-defense class - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Bullying leads Waco mom to enroll daughter in self-defense classes

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

A Waco mother enrolled her daughter in self-defense classes after finding out her daughter was getting bullied.

Amanda Castillo said she knew something was wrong with her 9-year-old daughter Zoe.

“She was being bullied in school and she came home one day and told me. The next day she didn’t want to get [out of] the car,” Castillo said.

After speaking to some relatives, Castillo said she decided to put Zoey in self-defense and kickboxing classes.

Zoey’s been taking the classes for about two months now, but Castillo said the change in Zoey’s attitude was immediate.

“She has more confidence in herself, talking to more people. I think she’s bringing awareness to sticking up for yourself. So that’s a good thing,” Castillo said.

David Hill, a local self-defense and kickboxing expert, has been teaching self-defense for a number of years. He said the moves are relatively simple. In fact, what he teaches kids is about the same as what he teaches adults.

Castillo recommends parents get their kids started in the class as soon as possible.

“Don’t [wait]. These are really good classes for kids in middle and elementary school. It’s best to get them started now so they can understand bullying is not okay and they can speak up for themselves,” Castillo said.

Zoey loves the classes so much that she’s taught her cousins a few moves.

“I teach them the moves that David just taught me, and then I do it again, but I got to do it soft because they are really skinny,” Zoey said.

Castillo said self-defense classes give her a little peace of mind and she wants other parents to feel the same.

”I’m not saying I don’t worry when I send her outside. Every parent’s going to worry, but I feel more confident she can take care of herself a bit more and stand up for herself at least because she wasn’t doing it before,” Castillo said.

Castillo stressed that she does not condone violence. The purpose of the self-defense classes is to promote non-violent resolutions to conflict and to practice both self discipline and control.

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