The idea of teaching young kids about self-defense can make some parents hesitate. They often wonder the following: Can a young child grasp the concepts of basic self-defense? Will it be any use in real-world situations?
I can confidently say the answer to both questions is yes! Kids soak up far more information than you might think. Not to mention that teaching them basic self-defense at an early age can provide enormous benefits in the long run.
Whether your children are in middle school or just starting the 1st grade, here is why it’s never a bad time to begin teaching them about self-defense:
It Can Help Deter Kidnappers
I know what you’re thinking—how could a child as young as five years old possibly stand a chance against a kidnapper or attacker? Truthfully, a child’s kicks and punches won’t do much against a potential kidnapper. However, inflicting damage isn’t the point of self-defense.
Self-defense classes are primarily focused on teaching young kids how to avoid dangerous situations and respond to them with confidence. Remember, criminals are looking for specific cues that mark children as easy targets. Generally, criminals are more likely to abduct children who are vulnerable and intimidated compared to kids who are confident and prepared. Self-defense can be extremely valuable for this purpose.
Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence
Do your children have low feelings of self-worth? Do they often hesitate and question their own abilities? When kids don’t have confidence in themselves, it can lead to problems in nearly every aspect of their lives. From school performance to personal relationships, having poor confidence can negatively impact your child’s life.
Self-defense classes such as boxing and karate are an excellent way to build confidence and self-esteem in kids. By pushing themselves to complete both mental and physical tasks, kids can gain a deep sense of accomplishment that builds their self-esteem over time. In addition, self-defense classes are often a great environment for building friendships. Kids will have the opportunity to meet new friends, without friendships being forced upon them.
If you want your children to become successful later in life, teaching them self-discipline early is crucial. No successful people got to where they are today without having the ability to set goals and achieve them through hard work. What better way to teach kids self-discipline than by enrolling them in martial arts or another sport centered around self-defense? Martial arts such as karate and Jiu Jitsu teach kids about self-control and focus to improve their skills.
Instilling self-discipline in your children is important for not only their academics, but also their safety. By teaching kids to think before they act, they can avoid potential threats and dangers.
Are your children victims of bullying? With the rise of social media and technology, bullying can happen anywhere and anytime. It’s not only damaging to their mental health; it can also wreak havoc on their academic performance. According to the Center for Disease Control, kids who are bullied are more likely to have low self-esteem and perform poorly in school.
Learning self-defense can do wonders for helping your children deal with bullying. This is because many self-defense classes advocate for and teach use non-violent methods for conflict resolution. This also makes self-defense classes important for kids doing the bullying as well. By teaching kids how to best handle conflicts, they can learn how to de-escalate situations without resorting to violence.
It’s Good Exercise
It’s a well-known fact that kids in the United States aren’t getting the physical exercise they need. According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in five children and adolescents are now obese. Kids need exercise. If the only opportunity for exercise for you child is recess and P.E. class at school, that’s not going to cut it. Fortunately, there is an easy solution.
Enrolling your kid in a self-defense class such as boxing can give them the exercise they need while also teaching them critical self-defense skills. When not in class, kids can continue to exercise at home by practicing their self-defense training. Get them a youth boxing set and watch their eyes light up when you install a mini-heavy bag for them to practice on. Who knows? Maybe it will motivate you to take your own boxing class as a part of setting a good example!
It’s a Lifelong Skill
At an early age, kids have minds that are like sponges—they can absorb tons of valuable information. You may be surprised at how much of the information they learn as a child stays with them throughout their lives. Teaching young kids about self-defense is just as important as teaching any basic safety precaution. Most of us didn’t need to be told as an adult that cigarettes aren’t good for us because we’ve had it drilled into us from an early age.
Self-defense techniques can stick with young kids and prove extremely valuable at every stage in their lives. Besides improving their safety and self-awareness, kids will grow up with greater focus, more confidence, and a sense of empowerment.
There truly is no wrong time to teach self-defense. Whether your children are five years old or pre-teens, they can benefit from learning how to properly defend themselves. If you’re wondering which self-defense class is right for you, just know that it’s less about the class and more about the instructors.
What is their philosophy? How will they meet the specific needs of your children? Do your research and select your instructors carefully. The skills they teach your children can have a significant impact on your children’s future.