PEOPLE OFTEN ASK - IS IT A GOOD OR BAD IDEA TO TEACH KIDS SELF DEFENCE?
They say children should be protected enough not to need self defence training. We agree - kids shouldn’t need it. But they do.
COBRA strong believes in teaching children self defence skills, otherwise our child courses wouldn’t exist. But why? Is it really necessary? Is it worth it? Should it be a focus for parents? What will a child gain from it?
Firstly, let us clarify that ‘self defence skills’ extend far beyond physical fighting skills. Self defence is a broad category of skills that arm your child with the best defence technique possible: avoidance.
Our goal – and presumably that of every good parent – is to help a child experience a long, happy life where their life is never in danger from another. There are ways we can help ensure that for our children.
After that, we aim for the second best skill: risk minimisation. If your child does become aware of a potentially dangerous situation, self defence skills will help them escape or de-escalate the situation.
Thirdly, and only when the first 2 fail, is a child required to employ physical defence skills in a crisis management situation. Here, of course, self defence skills are apparent in their value.
Let’s dive into some advantages of teaching self defence skills to children. This is by no means an exhaustive list! We could write a whole book about it –in fact, we have! But there are some very basic and apparent benefits which will hopefully help convince you to adopt simple self defence tactics into your everyday family life.
1. CHILDREN SEE THIS WORLD FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS
We take the candy-coating off life and show children realities of the real world (within appropriate parameters of course!). This means kids will see bad people for who they really are by the things they do. Consequently, children become more aware, capable and knowledgeable individuals who can respond appropriately to less-than-ideal situations (which are inevitable), and these children are decreasingly easy prey for predators.
2. CHILDREN LEARN TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEMSELVES
We give our children the opportunity to learn vigilance, attention to detail of their surroundings and some responsibility of their own in our absence. They end up feeling stronger, safer, more capable and empowered in their place in the world. As parents, we can also feel more confident that our child will alert us to inappropriate behaviour they are subjected to, and act responsibly to avoid placing themselves in risky situations.
3. OUR CHILD HAS A PLAN OF ACTION WHEN FACED WITH DANGER
Learning and practicing self defence means children have a ‘Plan Of Action’ for those God-forbid moments when they are in danger or feel threatened. They are equipped with tools and strategies to cope. This means they are able to remain calm and follow the drill to get out of danger quick.
This extends from minor situations to extreme ones; from the bully in the school playground, to the uncle who tries to grope them, to the paedophile who tries to kidnap them. It all happens. But with self defence know-how, you child is prepared to respond appropriately.
4. OUR CHILDREN DON’T JUST SUCCUMB TO EVIL BUT FIGHT FOR WHAT’S RIGHT
Self defence prepares and gives our children a fighting chance at any danger that awaits them. We teach them they should fight against people that attack them and never acquiesce out of fear, compliance or uncertainty. This could be the preparation that saves their life.
Self defence also empowers children with a strong sense of justice, meaning they are more likely to fight for what is right in life in relation to both themselves and others. Ultimately, this will help our children become better, more moral and value-driven individuals contributing to a stronger and safer society.
5. LEARNING THE IMPORTANCE OF FITNESS AND HEALTH
While strength is not essential in self defence, it helps. Moreover, general health and conditioning will better equip a child with the best self defence weapon of all: running away! Learning self defence teaches this on a very practical and physical level.
It also teaches it on a mental level, as children are taught the importance of always being mentally alert and aware. Therefore, utilisation of self defence programs, courses and teachings can contribute to your child’s health, fitness, understanding of their body’s abilities and mental acuity.
If this sounds like something you’d like your child to learn, email us today. We are currently gauging interest to hold our next course on the Sunshine Coast (restrictions allowing). We’d love to hear from you if you and your child would like to learn more face-to-face in one of our 2-hour courses. Because one child is too many, and your child deserves every chance they can get to enjoy a long and fruitful lifetime.