Self defence classes for kids
Learning how to protect yourself is an important life skill. Enrolling your kids in a self defence class can provide them with the skills and confidence they need to keep themselves safe but it can also provide them with a lot more learning opportunties.
While you may not be eager to have your kids in an 'aggressive' environment, self defence classes focus on the opposite. In fact, self defense classes usually focus on doing everything possible to avoid fighting someone who threatens an attack. Victims who fight back may risk making a bad situation even worse, causing the attacker to become more angry and violent. Kids will be taught the best way to handle these situations, focussing on how to get away from the attacker.
Self defence teaches kids (and adults) how to use their attackers aggression against him/her, focussing on the vulnerable parts of the body. A quick pinch to the loose skin on the arm or leg may be all thats needed to escape from an attackers grasp. This approach negates any size or strength advantage, making it possible for kids to learn effective self defense.
While the most obvious reason to practice self defense is to keep safe, it has many other benefits too:
- It keeps the kids active - As it is important to be physically fit in order to defend yourself, self defence classes will help to tone and strengthen muscles and improve balance and coordination. Kids will get great exercise during classes releasing mood enhancing endorphins meaning much fewer squabbles at home!
- They will be encouraged to work harder - Self defence will allow kids to realise that they are capable of accomplishing things when they put their mind to it. This may result in more effort being put into school work or other pastimes.
- They will meet new people and improve their social skills - Self defence classes are usually taught in a medium to large group of people. This will give your kids an opportunity to meet new friends from different backgrounds. They will learn to have greater tolerance for others as they come across different characters who they may or may not get along with.
- It will boost their confidence - Knowing that they have the ability to defend themselves will result in much higher self confidence for your kids. Girls and young women will be especially affected by the confidence boost that follows from learning self defence. It will help your kids to feel less anxious when they go out, as they will know how to handle dodgy situations that may arise.
- They will be learning new skills - Kids will be learning new skills while also enjoying themselves. Self defense is both fun and challenging, and can be extremely satisfying for kids when they see themselves making progress.
- It promotes calm and effective thinking - Self defense classes stress the importance of focus and concentration and kids may be able to transfer what they learn to different areas of their lives.
- It may prevent them from being bullied - Kids will be given the confidence not to fight. They will know that violence isn’t necessary in most situations. This confidence will allow them to stand up to a bully, also reducing the risk of being picked on in the first place, as bullies seek out weak targets.
It teaches respect - Self defense is very similar to martial arts, where the importance of respecting differences, honouring your elders and showing respect and tolerance of others is stressed. Practicing self defense may encourage your kids to value the importance of respecting all types of people.
There are a lot of different types of Marital Arts and Self Defence classses - read about which type Self Defence classes
might suit your child.
Check out our other articles to help you choose an after-school activity for your child