We can’t always be around to protect our children, and nobody wants their child to be defenseless. The reality is that society today is full of bullies and strangers who could pose a threat. As parents, protecting our kids is our biggest priority, but we also have to teach them to protect themselves. Self-defense for kids is critical.
These threats mean enrolling your children in a kids program that focuses on defense techniques they can use in case they are ever in trouble is a very smart move.
We tend to think of self-defense as hitting someone or using physical force. Yes, these can be elements of self-defense, but they’re certainly not the only ones.
Self-defense is also about being confident and proactive so that your child can avoid problems or take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. Self-defense training for kids or anyone for that matter will involve the use of assertiveness to respond to attempted intimidation.
A good starting point that you can work with your kids on is the use of body language and conveying confidence.
Confident body language can include:
- Walking with a sense of purpose. You can work with your kids to help them show they’re assertive by walking directly to their destinations with their shoulders back and their eyes up and straight ahead, rather than toward the ground.
- Making eye contact conveys confidence.
- Teach your kids to talk in a calm and neutral voice, especially when someone is trying to intimidate or bully them.
Why Kids Should Learn Self-Defense
Beyond teaching your kids to be confident and show assertiveness when necessary, self-defense training can help them be more confident.
These classes are also great as kids’ workout classes to get young people active and moving rather than sedentary. That in and of itself can also be a boost for their self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
Specific reasons why self-defense for kids is important to include:
- As mentioned, these classes are physical activities. Your kids can learn techniques from experienced instructors, and they’re moving their bodies simultaneously. Kids need exercise just like adults, yet they’re often not getting it. Self-defense training can help develop balance, coordination, strength, endurance, and flexibility. Kids are repeating movements in these classes, so they learn how to be aware of their bodies and control them.
- Taking classes that focus on self-defense can help kids learn problem-solving and effectively deal with confrontation. The goal of self-defense isn’t physical violence. Instead, it’s about how to de-escalate potentially threatening situations. A child can learn how to stand their ground and stay calm and safe.
- Certain classes can help kids learn how to be aware of their surroundings and avoid dangerous situations.
- Self-discipline is foundational in self-defense training, regardless of the age the class is geared toward. Kids learn how to concentrate and focus, especially in martial arts training. They also practice skills through repetition to stay in control and keep their focus on the task at hand, promoting discipline.
- When a child knows they can protect themselves, they will grow increasingly confident in every area of their life.
- Self-defense skills can stay with your child throughout their entire life. They may develop a passion for martial arts training that they’ll continue to build on.
- Kids can meet friends in their classes and through their training. They can get motivated to accept support and encouragement from other people and provide it as well. An element of teamwork can occur, even though we think of martial arts and self-defense training as primarily individual activities.
- Mindfulness grows through martial arts training and practice. Your child will learn how to stay patient and remain focused on the present moment, no matter what.
Types of Martial Arts Programs
All self-defense classes for kids or any age group will include elements of martial arts. The best workout classes and martial arts classes for kids can include:
- Karate is one of the most practice types of martial arts globally. Karate was developed as a form of self-defense, not relying on weapons used initially in Okinawa, Japan. Weapons were banned, and the word karate in Japanese means empty hands. Karate teaches children self-defense and patience, self-control, and discipline. Kids learn to master themselves, and the training uses full-body movement and various techniques like blocks, punches, evasions, and kicks. In these martial arts programs, kids work toward eventually earning their black belt.
- Tae Kwon Do is similar to karate in that it teaches discipline and patience. Tae Kwon Do also teaches the connection between the mind, body, spirit, and life. Kids train their minds as much as their bodies with this form of martial arts. Physically, the focus is on legs and kicks, but kids will also learn blocks, strikes, punches, and take-downs.
- Wrestling dates back to Ancient Egypt, and it’s a combat sport with an emphasis on grappling. Children in wrestling classes learn throws, joint locks, pins, and clinch fighting. Physically and mentally, wrestling is challenging. Kids learn how to be persistent and have unshakable confidence. Physically, they also develop core strength. Eventually, kids can participate in competitive programs for wrestling if it’s a sport they enjoy after doing studio classes.
- Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian sport and is among the best martial arts to learn self-defense. Kids can learn to defend themselves against stronger, bigger opponents in Jiu-Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on positioning, control, and submission instead of kicking or striking. The term translates to a “gentle way.” Students learn the right amount of force they need to escape difficult situations. It’s great for flexibility as well as defense.
- Muay Thai is Thai boxing, and it’s considered one of the more violent forms of martial arts, so some parents avoid this option. This close-combat defense training teaches you to use your entire body as a weapon, although it’s a safe environment during training.
- Aikido is one of the least violent forms of martial arts, although it’s not as good for self-defense as some of the others.
- Krav Maga is a great option for martial arts lessons for kids and adults. There are a lot of popular adult classes that feature Krav Maga as a primary form of self-defense.
The world is a dangerous place for everyone, especially children. Unfortunately, due to the risks in the world around us, kids are spending more of their time indoors, getting less exercise, and being less equipped for the challenges that might await them.
When your child participates in any kids’ workout classes focusing on martial arts or self-defense, they can learn to be mentally and physically stronger and ready to take on whatever will face them in life.
Your child learns how to be a focused, disciplined, and self-assured individual who can protect themselves.
If you’re ready to explore classes so that your kids can become well-rounded and in control of their bodies and lives, get in touch with the Fort Fitness team today by calling 949-544-1557. We specialize in empowering the entire family through fitness, and we can help you find the right self-defense class in Laguna Hills, CA, for your child.