Self Defence IS NOT a hobby
I was prompted to write this blog today as a result of recent chats with a couple of parents who have just withdrawn their children from our martial arts classes so they can concentrate on other “hobbies”. I’m very open to children getting a wide variety of experiences in different past times and sports but I think as parents we should also be looking to equip our kids with a very important life skill – Self Defence.
But what constitutes self defence, well most peoples immediate thought would be physical confrontations, using physical skills to defend yourself, but I believe that 90% of self defence is actually in the mind, attitude and how you conduct yourself. Self Confidence is the biggest skill to defending yourself, knowing that you can defend yourself physically manifests within the martial artist as self confidence but the discipline and respect tied into formal training is what stops that person crossing the line and using their skills in anger. Self Defence whilst physical and mental also encompasses living a healthy lifestyle and watching what you eat. Defending yourself against illness through fitness and good health.
I get very dissappointed when I hear Martial Arts and Self Defence being lumped into the bracket of hobbies along with Street Dance, Choir Practice, Golf, Rugby, Cricket etc. Now I like all of these things, perhaps not Choir as I’m not religious and not street dance as I look like a Lizard standing up right receiving electric shocks when I dance. But each of these “hobbies” have their place and are great for our kids, the level of choice kids have nowadays is amazing, certainly more than when I was growing up.
But I want to urge all parents, let them have their hobbies but insist they learn the life skill of self defence. If I were in charge of the national curriculm, I would make it part of school life. If your kids don’t want to go to school, do you let them stay at home or make them go?? You make them go. But why? Because school is important for their future, for their lives!
Self defence cannot be a hobby that can be picked up and dropped, it should be a life skill, it should be the one or two days per week that we as parents say no, your’re going to class, the other three days are for your hobbies. Its where we say you will not be a victim of bullying, peer pressure, obesity or sickness.
Written by Christopher Allen, Tring Martial Arts.