How to Teach Your Child Self-Defence
Posted: April 13, 2021
Why is self-defence for kids important, and why would you want to teach it to your child? The issue is bullying. Bullying is an unfortunate fact of life. Up to a fifth of young people have experienced it.
The figures for bullying are worryingly consistent, year on year, and while cyberbullying is undoubtedly on the rise, traditional, physical bullying hasn’t gone away.
The effects of bullying on a child can be acute. Bullied children may have fewer friendships or find it difficult for their peers to accept them. They can become suspicious of others and wary of them. Adjusting at school can become a problem, and children who are bullied may develop problems such as anxiety and depression.
But as a parent, what can you do to help?
Basic Self-defence Skills for Kids
For kids, self-defence involves a whole set of skills, and it isn’t simply about being physically capable of looking after yourself.
The two key things that underpin self-defence for kids are:
- Confidence, and
- Acting instinctively.
Confidence is really important. A child that looks and acts confidently is less likely to get picked on.
Not all bullies are the biggest kid in the class. But bullies know how to tceles their victims, which gives them a kind of power over other kids, even kids that are physically more than a match for them.
Acting instinctively requires a child to learn how to listen to their instincts, to recognise when a situation feels unsafe.
If they do this, in many situations they can avoid trouble before it escalates into a threat.
Other basic behaviours that support self-defence are connected to these two fundamentals.
- Assertiveness is an important quality for kids to develop. If they can learn to speak assertively, to look people in the eye, this can do much to deter bullies.
- Knowing when to walk away from a situation is a good tip too. Sometimes, walking away is seen as weakness, when in fact it can be an ideal self-defence tactic. Often it’s the braver option.
- Stay in a group. Groups are safer than being alone, and this helps prevent bullies from finding the opportunities to single out a target. Bullies will often strike when a child is on the way to or from school. If they make these journeys with others, they reduce the bullying opportunities.
- Don’t suffer in silence. It’s okay to make a noise if someone is threatening or hurting you. Attracting attention to the situation is more likely to make a bully stop what they’re doing.
Self-defence Training for Kids
Even if a child learns the basic skills we've highlighted, some bullies simply want to fight and won't be easily deterred.
Training in Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu offers self-defence skills for kids that can give them the means to defend themselves physically. This isn’t about teaching them to fight. It’s giving them the techniques to resist opponents and to protect themselves.
The main goal of Jiu Jitsu is to resist and control an opponent, forcing them into submission. Using these techniques, you can wrestle them to the ground and render them harmless.
This applies to opponents who are bigger and stronger than you, and Jiu Jitsu enables you to overcome them without punching or kicking them.
This type of training has depth because it does a lot more than offer physical training. It builds self-discipline, self-confidence and self-awareness. It provides a progressive framework where children learn to apply these qualities so that they become instinctive.
Unlocking Mental and Physical Capabilities
While learning self-defence may be driving your child’s need to learn Jiu Jitsu, the potential benefits extend way beyond this.
As they learn the value of discipline and understand how important it is to their progression in Jiu Jitsu, this can develop their sense of responsibility. They learn the importance of cause and effect, and how their actions can influence the world around them.
This is especially important for kids in learning to manage relationships with others, including bullies.
Along with this are skills related to problem-solving and decision-making, which contribute significantly to personal development.
Learning Skills for Life
Bullying is something that affects many children, but martial arts training offers self-defence for kids that also gives them skills for life.
They learn how to act decisively under pressure, applying patience and concentration when acquiring new skills and knowledge, and staying alert and focused.
Kids who experience Jiu Jitsu training can see how their actions impact others, and how the actions of others can affect them.
Bullying may, hopefully, be something that they only encounter as children, but the Jiu Jitsu skills they learn will endure for a lot longer.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Training in Surrey
We’re based in Redhill, Surrey and we offer a range of Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu training for both children and adults. For more information, please contact us.