2017- Year of Our Children


Dear Parents of Young Children,
The impact of climate change, earthquakes and global events of 2016 lead me to share a training report on survival skills for children written in March 2011. It is more relevant now as we begin 2017.


Training for Mountains and Life
[Written March 2011]

This short report is about some of the life skills training and resources that I used to teach my 10 year old son Te Aio. He will not stay young for much longer and will soon grow up. Like all parents, I hope that he will grow into a fine, responsible adult and share what he has learnt with others.

I share this with you so that you may share it with your children.

This short report covers. 1. Training experiences. 2. Survival kit for school bag. 3. Breathing patterns.

I believe Te Aio should have experiences, memories and affirmations that he can use to give himself confidence, hope and courage and difficult situations in later life. To help build a strong mind inside his little body. Before he grows up too soon and becomes to set in the ways of modern technology and play-station generation. Going out into nature where the mountains, rivers, forests and opens spaces become the teachers. Be among the elemental elders.


I have taken him into the ancestral mountains of the East Coast as shown above. So he can absorb the power of being in the mountains. To learn basic camping, tracking and finding food and water. Observing the animals to find water. Practicing taiaha martial art movements on the mountain. Teaching him prayer. He might not continue with these things as he grows older. At least he has had an experience of the mountains while still a boy.

I train father to son in a range of skills. I trained him in mainly in Maori martial arts to develop his character, Maori culture and self-defence. He practices with me his father. we start slow. Go through the drills. Keep it simple. Then increase speed and intensity. He knows where to strike his father such that he can disable me quickly and efficiently whether I am striking unarmed or with edged weapon. Yet he’s still a 10 year old boy and so we must keep it fun and not too serious. Reminding him to be responsible. To help others when in need. His name is Te Aio which means peaceful so these practices are in the pursuit of peace. Also he must learn to heal what he has hurt. He participated in a self-defence demonstration to a visiting Italian group and earned $250 which pleased him very much.

Te Aio Survival Kit for his School Bag.


Te Aio says.

“This is my survival kit that goes in my school bag. My dad made it for me. He got a pencil case from $2 Shop and put stuff in it. A torch, some plaster, a pen and paper to write a note. Some black tape like if you cut yourself and you have no plasters, you can put clean cloth or kawakawa leaf over the cut and tape it. A tool with gadgets. Phone numbers of mum and dad. Our home address. A muesli bar…”


Dad says.

“Every parent should make a survival kit for their kids. Put it in the bottom of their school pack. It does not cost much. There are other things that could be added to Te Aio kit. A small aluminium survival sheet. A whistle. A laminated card with these instructions. CPR and other emergency drills. Still working on this. You need to check its contents regularly.. The muesli bar can get eaten. Emergency money can get spent on after-school snacks. Having a survival kit is all part of his character building and martial arts training. He has to learn real life skills. Not just stances and blocks.”

Breathing Patterns.


Te Aio says.

“My dad drew these patterns to help my nerves and calm my breathing  when I get wheezy. Also to help me concentrate. They come from the old Maori taiaha which uses a lot of spirals and circle movements. This is from the koru fern frond spiral. It is also same shape as the snail shell.


Dad says.

“Trace over the single spiral picture using a finger starting from the outer point while breathing in towards the centre. Hold at the centre for short time then breathe out by tracing the spiral outwards to where you started. It is the basis for the name taiaha –  the spiralling Breath of Life. Be like a snail. Slow down your breathing each time. Do 3 breaths. Inhale for 3 Count. Hold for 3 Count. Exhale for 3 Count. Hold for 3 Count. Repeat 3 times. Breathe in good energy. Breathe out bad feelings. You can draw a spiral in the air. In the clouds. In water. In sand. On the earth. Get a stick or just use your mind to create the spiral. Parents should practice as well. Make it fun. Make the kids curious. Create your own spirals. Add two spirals together. Watch a snail cross a path. Be patient. Slow down the mind and breath….”

Two Spirals…


Remember….Calm Breath1 + Calm Breath2 + Calm Breath3  = CALM MIND


Note To Self dated 29 December 2016.

I wrote this back in March 2011 when son was still 10 years old. He is now 16 years old and all this training has given him a quiet confidence in his school life and outdoor expeditions.

Year 2017 will bring more global uncertainty and climate shocks such as earthquakes happening more frequently here in New Zealand and overseas. Stress is affecting our kids more as they cope with increasing technology and social change. Technology is great until power-cuts happen and batteries go flat. Then we have to be self-sufficient and emotionally resilient. We can expect more turbulence in these forthcoming years to 2020. I believe 6 months -1 year planning cycles as the frequency of change is happening so much quicker. We need to be more adaptable and creative in our readiness for life.

Here is a curriculum course for parents to use and adapt..


A practical course for students aged 10 years and above teaching emergency thinking and survivor skills for suburban environments, wooded areas and rivers/beaches.


Objective 1. Assemble a mini survival kit.

Each student designs and assembles own mini-survival kit. Essentially a large pencil-case containing simple emergency items derived from $2Dollar shop. Items include plasters, bandage, small torch, handyman-tool, tape and emergency card. This kit stays at the bottom of the student’s school bag in case of emergency away from home.


Objective 2. Tying ropes and knots.

Students will be taught 3 types of knots.

         A knot to tie a shelter down.

         A knot to rescue a struggling person in need.

         A knot to lash pieces of wood together.

         Tying different ropes & improvised materials together in an emergency.


Objective 3. Erect an improvised shelter.

Students will be taught to construct an improvised shelter using knots and local materials found in car boots, garages and households. Bush shelter may be taught depending on proximity to native bush.


Objective 4. Cook a meal over small stove.

Students will cook a packet of noodles using a small hexamine stove. Students will be shown fire-safety and cooking improvisation using local materials.


Objective 5. Sleeping outside.

Student will sleep outside overnight by erecting their own shelters, sleeping spaces and cook own food. Students may be woken in middle of night and re-erect shelter as part of testing. Other little challenges will be added to test student resilience.


Objective 6. SURVIVE 24 HOURS.

Students will undertake a 24hour guided survival exercise. Scenarios include: alone in open ground, alone in a building or alone in the bush. Students will incorporate all previous survival objectives plus create a personal mindpower-pack for the exercise. This mindpower-pack contains memories, words and feelings that give the student inner strength, courage and hope in an emergency.

Final Thoughts

My hope is that every 5 year old child who starts school from 2017 onwards has a survival kit in their small bag. They be taught calm breathing and simple mind drills as part of their school curriculum. Start simple but lovingly. Add more as they grow. Along with literacy, numeracy and other academic subjects. Their  world will be different to this one right now.

I have started a registered NZ charity C00528 called MANA TREE FUND to fund this type of survival resources and training for children. It has very little money but full of Mana right now. Nem mind, the Mana Tree will grow. Bigger then any Hedge Fund. Lol.

If you feel called to help, share & collaborate then just email me.



2 thoughts on “2017- Year of Our Children

  1. Tena koe

    I am so happy to have found your page, how I have no clue, and what a blessing.

    Mauri ora

    Could I have the bank acc details mo te Mana Tree Fund koa.


    • Kia ora Te Rina, Thank you very much. I will send an account number soon. Lol. I need a compassion banker to manage all these gazillions of mana coming in. Nga mihi nui Capt AK.

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