Whenever a parent calls us wanting information about our programs, we always ask a series of questions. What they want their child to get out of our program is one question.
The reality is that most parents want us to help their child in some way. Confidence, discipline, and focus have been the big three since our first school opened almost 20 years ago. Self-defense is usually further down the list.
In the course of teaching our students how to become more disciplined, etc. and how that can benefit them as they make their way to adulthood, we occasionally talk about the self defense aspect of our training.
My rule for our students is that if someone tries to physically hurt you, you use your skills to defend yourself as best you can. You don’t worry about whether you’ll get in trouble if it’s at school. You defend yourself, period. Your parents will deal with the powers that be if it did happen at school.
If you don’t defend yourself, you’re just learning how to be a victim.
F.Y.I. – I have never had a parent disagree with this rule.
Just Do It
The most important aspect of defending yourself, and we stress this, is that the response to an attack must be automatic. Muscle memory has to take over.
You don’t have time to think about what you’re going to do, it just has to happen. Just like walking down the street just happens.
There’s no time to think about what block you have to do to keep that punch from hitting you in the head. You just block it.
Here are two recent examples of how “it” just happens.
A student (we’ll call him john) that has been with us for 7 years was confronted while in school. The attacker ended up trying to kick him.
John’s response was to step to the right as he blocked and grabbed the attacker’s Leg. John then stepped in and swept the attacker’s other leg out from underneath him, taking the attacker to the floor just like he had practiced numerous times in class over several years.
The incident ended with John walking away unhurt and the attacker picking himself up off the floor with his ego, and maybe his rear end, bruised.
It was just the day after an 8-year-old (Let’s call him Mike) had tried out his first class at Fear Knot that he had to use his newly learned skills.
Mike was so excited about how his first class went and what he had learned that he spent a good amount of time at home that evening practicing those self-defense skills.
On the bus to school the next morning, Mike was harassed by another boy. At one point the boy said, “You’re not in cub scouts.” and tried to punch Mike in the face.
Just as he had learned in class, and then practiced the night before, Mike blocked the punch and defended himself. He didn’t think about blocking the punch, it just happened.
In both these instances, self-defense techniques were executed quickly and automatically.
Why Martial Arts For Kids?
It has long been proven that martial arts training instills a long list of positive character traits on the student. Your child finding that they can learn skills, improve those skills, and then defend adequately themselves creates unshakable confidence.
Building that confidence, along with the other valuable life skills learned along the way, is priceless.