know that the safety of their children is under constant
threat. More kids than ever before are abducted and
victimized by predators each day. Plus, playground bullies,
older children, and others prey upon the young, thinking
them defenseless. By enrolling your child into martial arts
classes, you can equip them with the skills to ward off an
attack or evade it altogether.
In this article, I'll describe how learning karate, judo,
kung-fu, and other styles can help your child feel more
confident, approach potentially threatening situations
thoughtfully, and ultimately preserve his or her safety.
While most parents would prefer not to think about their
children needing to defend themselves against others, it is
very real possibility.
A Persistent Threat
Long ago, children were seldom victimized or abducted; and
it was practically unimaginable in small towns. Times have
changed. In 2002, over 58,000 children were kidnapped by
non-family members. What's more, the number of cases
reported in communities with sparse populations has
escalated. In effect, every child, regardless of location,
is susceptible to the threat of predators.
Young kids are also vulnerable to older children. They can
easily and without reasonable justification and become
victims of bullying or physical abuse. Sometimes, the
circumstances can swing wildly out of control, leading to
injury or worse. Parents are understandably concerned and
are becoming increasingly aware that they need to take
Kids' Self-Defense Through Martial Arts
Kids martial arts classes are not designed to train children
to fight. Instead, they focus on developing a number of
mental and physical skills that provide lifelong value. Kids
learn to concentrate more effectively and think more
clearly. They also learn the value of respect and emotional
restraint. The training will also include self-defense
strategies that your child can use to ward off threats.
One of the most important elements in kids martial arts
classes (in the context of self-defense) is the ability to
disengage from situations that might lead to violent
confrontation. In many cases, a child can find himself
embroiled in circumstances that could have otherwise been
avoided. Learning the martial arts can help a child identify
and avoid those circumstances.
Martial Arts for Kids
Parents have a number of martial arts styles from which they
can choose. Some styles, like karate, are more aggressive
than others. For example, aikido focuses on techniques that
help students disable an attacker without actually fighting
them. It emphasizes throwing moves rather than striking. On
the other hand, karate and kung-fu involve a number of
striking tactics; both approach self-defense from a far more
aggressive perspective. Judo, like aikido, stresses the
development of physical and mental control; the style
involves very few striking moves.
Finding A Dojo
Parents who are interested in exploring martial arts classes
for their child should visit a few training facilities in
their area. They should speak with the instructors and ask
about each dojo's respective philosophy. They should also
observe a few classes to become familiar with each
instructor's training style. For example, one instructor
might emphasize aggression while another stresses mental and
emotional refinement. The style you and your child choose
should be consistent with your values and goals.
Protecting Their Safety
In the end, your child needs to develop the necessary
physical and mental discipline to help ensure their safety.
That includes learning techniques of self-defense. It also
involves learning how to approach potentially hostile
circumstances thoughtfully with the goal of either diffusing
or avoiding them. Kids martial arts classes are designed to
train young people to develop these skills. If their safety
is threatened, they should have the training and discipline
to respond in the best possible manner