What are the benefits of teaching kids self-defense?

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Here are 8 reasons why children should learn self-defense techniques

What are the benefits of teaching kids self-defense?

It is important for parents to encourage their children to learn basic moves at a young age in order to instill in them confidence and take away the feeling of helplessness that comes with this kind of situations.

Here are some reasons why children should learn self-defense techniques according to the International Combative self-deffense Association and "Childhood Australia": 

1. Teaches gentle solutions to bullying and rough play: a good self-defense program teaches kids gentle solutions, which emphasize in the use of voice and non-violent ways to protect their personal space, for when they are being “attacked” by other kids. This means that they will grow up with non-violent conflict resolution skills.
2. Socialization skills: the kids at school and on the playground don’t always have common ground, but students of martial arts can get to know one another through shared interests. Even though self-defence and martial arts are ‘individual’ activities, they are delivered in a structured group environment, which means, interacting with others, developing friendships and learning group behavior such as turn taking, supporting each other, being kind, respect for each other, etc.

3. Developing confidence: in a self-defense program, children are constantly learning new skills, and each one is a little more challenging than the one before. Developing new skills leads to confidence and pride in one’s abilities.
4. Teaches nutrition, anatomy and hygiene: in a physical program that encourages movement, it is easy to reinforce why we need to eat well to give our bodies fuel for playing. Also, a good self-defense program is an opportunity to teach anatomy (left, right, body parts, etc.) and hygiene (cut your fingernails, wash your hands, etc.)

5. Improvement in other areas of life: the skills gained in martial arts self-defense classes contribute to academic, social, and behavioral success. For example, as children train, they will know the importance of concentration and could use these new improvements to perform better in school. 

6. Respect: learning martial arts requires your child to show instructors and peers respect. While attending martial arts and self-defense classes, your child will be learn lessons in respect for themselves and for others.

7. Improves physical fitness and coordination: according to “Childhood Australia”, in a self-defense program, kids are active. The locomotor, nonlocomotor and manipulative movements develop gross and fine motor skills and therefore result in a holistic improvement in fitness and physicality. This means that kids will benefit from improved coordination, strength, agility, balance, flexibility, cardio, speed, and reactive and bursting power. 

8. Teaches awareness of danger: thanks to self-defense practices, children will learn to use their eyes and their ears to be aware of their situation. This is the most important aspect of self-defense for kids. If they are aware of themselves and aware of things that could mean danger, they have the best chance of staying safe.


Latin American Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda