CHILDREN as young as five in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds will be among the first in the country to take part in a new self-defence programme which has won the national support of the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA).

Tai-Jutsu-Kai martial arts academy in Cheltenham has become the locally approved partner of MANTIS, the company which has devised The Children’s Protector in partnership with ABA, hosted by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB).

The Children’s Protector is a series of fully interactive DVDs teaching all aspects of children’s safety via carefully selected martial arts academies and consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation.

Senior instructor at Tai-Jutsu-Kai, Andy Privett,said: “When we were approached by MANTIS about The Children’s Protector, we were immediately impressed. This is not a martial art but an effective, easy to learn self-defence system for children. It’s something with the potential to make a real difference in the battle against bullying and child abduction.

Andy, who holds a 4th degree black belt in ju jutsu and is also highly graded in judo, is a fully qualified PE teacher who has taught PE, sports and martial arts in schools around Gloucestershire. He retains close links and is involved in LEA activities around the county.

Whilst the interactive DVD, which can be played on Xbox and PlayStation, can be studied at home by children with their parents, it is the practical teaching in a professional setting by qualified instructors which is the preferred teaching option.

Simon Brooker, founder of MANTIS (an acronym for Manage Any Nasty Trouble In Society), said: “We are looking to partner with the very best martial arts academies across the country and we are delighted to be working with the Tai-Jutsu-Kai. The academy has a very impressive track record and we have total confidence it can play a vital part in the battle to make life safer for children.”

Further information on The Children’s Protector programme at Tai-Jutsu-Kai can be obtained on 0795 158 7398 or 01242 210134. Alternatively, visit