Self-defence for kids. Why and how it should be done

Self-defence for kids. Why and how it should be done

Why should kids learn self defence? Is it safe for them? What do they get out of it?

Why should kids learn self defence? Is it safe for them? What do they get out of it?

In a culture that seems to have the spotlight on violence, from music to video games, movies and even televisions shows, the idea of enrolling your child in self-defence classes may rise the question: “Is it ever okay to teach your child to hit?”

The reason for that is because, when most people think of self-defence, they think about hitting back or using martial arts. What most of the parents out there don’t understand is that self-defence has nothing to do with hitting or striking another person.

Self-defence is about being aware of your surroundings, leaving before a problem erupts, listening to your gut, using a confident voice and carrying yourself with confidence.

Main reasons to take self-defence classes:

  • Protect themselves against bullying

If your child has been or is a victim of bullying you may be asking yourself why this is happening and you’ve even tried to give him some advice. The most common advice parents give to their child, when this is happening, may be: “Stand up for yourself!” “Stand strong!” “Be confident!” or “Tell the bully to stop!”.

The problem with this approach is that most parents don’t understand that this type of advice is simply not that easy to do. It’s not easy being a child, let’s not fool ourselves, and children can be cruel to each other.

Parents have to understand that most times at the root of that child’s inability to stand up to the bully is actually a profound fear for their personal safety. The child feels that if he were to stand up for himself the bully will retaliate and he might get hurt.

That is why the best way to ‘bullyproof’ a child and build that confidence to stand up for himself, is to teach them self-defence techniques that will ensure their personal safety and will eliminate that initial fear of getting hurt if he were to stand up to the bully.

  • Protect themselves against molestation, assault and abduction

It’s very hard and scary to imagine, but our kids are not safe. Child abduction and kidnapping attempts are happening and it seems like it’s occurring more than ever. Prevent kidnapping by teaching your children about how to be safe with strangers and by making sure they are prepared before they go anywhere without adult protection.

Enrolling your child in self-defence classes will help him learn urban survival skills and equip them with knowledge on how to identify a dangerous situation and how to react to it (to get help if anything seems unsafe, yelling and running to escape and evade,etc.).

Strong resistance can stop most assaults. Self-defence classes will teach kids that if someone is about to harm them and they cannot leave or get help at first, the best plan is to hit, kick, and yell until they can get away and get help. This aspect of self-defence, is very important to teach kids how and when to use force and fighting. Along with identifying dangerous situations kids can also learn many other physical defence techniques they can use.

Benefits of self defence classes for kids:

  • Encourage physical activity.

    Self-defence classes are a great way to exercise. Since the main concern these days is about kids spending all day in front of the TV and computer screens, self-defence is ideal to start the habit of exercising.

  • Improve listening skills, learn to find focus and self-discipline.

    In order for you child to learn the skills he is being taught, he has to exercise superior listening skills. This will benefit kids who aren’t adept when it comes to paying attention as they will have to listen and pay attention to the instructor’s directions.

  • Increase self-esteem and self-respect.

    This may be one of the most important benefits of self-defence classes, as your child will gain confidence and self-esteem with every new move they master. Also, with knowledge and achievement their self-esteem will grow daily and as time progresses they will walk proudly.

  • Boost social skills.

    Children that don’t shine in social environments will find it easier to get to know people and make new friends in a room filled with kids who share a common interest. Many self-defence classes have partner driven exercises and this can foster friendships as they encourage kids to pair off and build their skills together.

  • They’ll learn non-violent conflict resolution.

    Thinking that self-defence classes promote violence is a huge misconception. In fact, most self-defence systems teach kids peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution and emphasise the importance of avoiding physical altercations. The number one principle in Krav Maga is that you should run when you are in a dangerous situation.

  • Instills a sense of respect.

    When going to self-defence classes your child will be required to show his instructor unflinching respect. A huge problem these days is that respect for authority or adults in general, is not included in kid’s culture. Kids are generally more attentive when they learn something that excites them and self-defence classes are a good opportunity to improve behavior.

The take home

The bottom line is to just remember that while martial arts classes do teach some some self-defence principles, they are not self-defence classes. Self-defence systems, such as Krav Maga, focus just on self-protection and they teach practical exercises with real-life scenarios.

The key in choosing a teacher or school is to do your research well and to evaluate the integrity of the program. As a starting place, we recommend choosing a school/ instructor that is interested in the safety of your child and his needs and that is passionate about helping kids.

Finally, we believe that almost any child can and will benefit enormously from taking self-defence classes. The most important thing to consider, is that self-defence classes will give you that peace of mind, knowing that you child is learning to be safe – gaining skills that will last them a life-time.

Free to Community, Urban Survival for Kids – Protecting Yourself Against Child Abduction, Kidnapping and Strangers. For Kids from 5-12 years



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