Anna and Liz Johnston are learning how to protect themselves as they make their way out into the world. The 7 Little Johnstons sisters educate themselves in self-defense in a PopCulture.com exclusive sneak peek of Tuesday's all-new episode of the TLC show, taking a class from a sensei who's worked with little people to modify moves for the greatest possible impact.
Mom and dad Amber and Trent Johnston hope the class gives their girls "another perspective" on keeping themselves instead of simply hearing a lecture from their parents. "Maybe opens their eyes and they [think] 'Oh, OK. Yeah. I do need to, you know, watch for that,'" Amber says.
Anna and Liz listen intently as sensei Michael Brewster instructs them on how to react if they're attacked at the gym, out shopping or even at home. "You have like a 75% chance of getting out of that situation if you just like fight back a little bit," he assures the class before getting them to stand up and learn an easy block to protect themselves.
"I have actually worked with little people before," Brewster tells the camera. "We feel that everybody needs martial arts. It doesn't matter age, ability, race, religion. Everybody needs the basic knowledge of how to defend themselves. It's important. Not just nowadays, forever."
Liz and Anna then take the moves to the mat, practicing with each other in what quickly turns into giggles on Liz's part. "There's no aggression between Anna and I anymore," Liz explains. "I was just more laughing at the fact [that] Anna kind of didn't know what she was doing, and then when she'd do it, she'd do it so fast. And it just made me laugh. I didn't mean to laugh, but I did."
After their first set of drills, Anna asks Brewster an important question. "Obviously, I'm not going to get attacked by another little person. I mean, there's a chance, but it's not a high chance," she says. "So what are some modifications?" Brewster encourages the Johnstons to use things to their advantage like leverage and distractions, including swapping face punches for crotch shots: "It doesn't matter how big or small you are. If you kick me in the crotch it's going to hurt," he tells them.
"There's not [many] little people around here and just around the world," Anna tells the camera. "If something was to happen to Elizabeth or I or any little person, there's a larger chance it's going to be an average-sized person. ...The best answer is the crotch." Liz chimes in, "That's pretty much the motto. Like always the crotch and scream." 7 Little Johnstons airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.