At the beginning of the year, Mike Houtz, a Lakewood resident, told Denver7 that a man pulled up to his 12-year-old son in a vehicle and tried to lure the boy into his car. The boy then ran off and …
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At the beginning of the year, Mike Houtz, a Lakewood resident, told Denver7 that a man pulled up to his 12-year-old son in a vehicle and tried to lure the boy into his car. The boy then ran off and called police.
Incidents like that inspired Venture Martial Arts, a martial arts program with locations in Lakewood, Stapleton and Flatirons, to host free “stranger danger” classes to the community. The classes teach children what a stranger is, what red flags to be aware and defensive, martial arts maneuvers if a stranger tries to grab, or chase them.
“What happens to the kids that don't know what to do if a stranger approaches them? We haven't really reached a lot of people in the Lakewood community yet, but our number one priority is to keep kids in the community here safe,” said Micah Martin, the founder of Venture Martial Arts.
Martin says most of the children who participate in the stranger danger classes are between four to 12 years old, but there isn't an age limit. Anthony Shermer, a 12-year-old who does martial arts at Venture Martial Arts, said he's learned valuable life lessons through the stranger danger classes.
“If a stranger tries to take me forcefully, I know all of the defensive maneuvers. (It) teaches you life lessons, and it's really fun to do,” Shermer said.
“It's a wonderful program. It's done so much for my son's confidence and his physical strength,” said Jennifer Shermer, Anthony's mother. “He's really improved through the program that they utilize here.”
The next stranger danger class is scheduled for Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. Following that, the martial arts program will offer bully self-defense classes that are focused on teaching children what attracts a bully and defensive maneuvers if a bully becomes violent.
Venture Martial Arts Lakewood location is at 11078 W. Jewell Ave, and it can be reached at 303-968-5500.
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