What is the primary reason that parents enrol their children in Martial Arts classes? The answer is always self defence. In Cronulla and the Sutherland Shire and also Sydney, bullying is a big problem in the school yard. Some basic children’s self defence principles can help your kids safety. And reduce the likelihood of them becoming a target of the bullies.
Here are 5 self defence principles your Children should know!
- Distance/Range: Whats a safe distance? How close is too close? These are questions that children need to be aware of. This is also a question of awareness. Who else is around? How close are they? Can they hit me? In Martial Arts and indeed self defence classes, range plays a vital role. Learning how to keep people away, and close the distance is a key factor in self defence. Learning about ranges and practising distance management is important for children. Most martial arts like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu all cover some form of distance management. Boxing teaches kids to be outside of the range if someone is trying to hit you. Whereas the primary focus of boxing is to hit then not be hit. Jiu Jitsu focuses on being far away. Then close the distance so you are too close to be hit. Then assume positional dominance to control of the aggressor. Each martial art has its own distance management philosophy. Understanding distance management goes a long way in any confrontation.
- Keep your hands up! This sounds like an obvious one but keeping your hands up is a vital self defence skill. When we say this people often think we refer to that of a boxer’s stance. Fists clenched ready to strike. Actually what we are referring to here is more of a defensive position. Hands open but ready to cover your head just in case the other person takes a swing at you. In this way your children’s actions are always perceived as being defensive. If the person does swing, they can cover, close the distance and take the other person down. If the situation permits. In this way, your child can use their words to negotiate a truce without leaving themselves open.
- Don’t get surrounded! Situational awareness. We touched briefly on this when we were discussing range. Kids should have a good degree of understanding who’s around them. Are those people a threat? If there’s a sense of impending danger, then move. Its always easier to keep yourself in a position where you can’t be cornered than to get out once you are cornered. This sounds easy. But in practice it can be much more problematic. The basic rule is never let someone get around behind you where you can’t see them. Use the natural terrain such as walls to protect your blind spot. But this still leaves 3 sides for people to surround you. Look for the weakest link in the chain and get out of there! Which brings me to my next point.
- Be Loud and Push Back! Master Royler Gracie was here at Gracie Miranda recently. He said “We never teach kids to push anybody, but if they get pushed, we teach them to push back”. In self defence situations the more kids negotiate loudly, the less intimidated they will seem. Standing up for yourself can be nerve racking. Especially for kids with low self confidence. This is where training and practice comes in.
- Project Strength and Confidence! Usually the bullies are looking to pick on someone who is an easy target. A child who exhibits confidence isn’t the easy target they are looking for. Martial Arts training can help with this. Learning to stand up for yourself is a hard thing to do when you haven’t done it before. But it is a vital skill for kids to learn. This skill attained in child hood will ensure that they don’t get walked on. Confidence is a skill like any other and it comes from believing in themselves. If children know how to defend themselves then this belief will grow.
These Principles are not the only things kids need to know for self defence. But talking to your kids so they have some understanding of these 5 principles will go a long way. If you are concerned with your child understanding self defence, why not enrol them in a martial arts school. Gracie Miranda services the Sutherland Shire from Cronulla to Engadine, and north to Taren Point.