Over the past few months violence at schools, in malls, and other public places has increased our children’s worries. We sometimes forget that they need reassurance that everything will be okay. Instead of focusing on the tragedies and those outside our own families affected, we must take action to assure they feel safe.
We purchase guns. We become community action leaders. We, as adults, feel the need to DO something while leaving our children feeling impotent and lost. That needs to stop.
We can give our children something that empowers them, builds self-confidence, and permits a mindset of safety and security that is family oriented. I am speaking about martial arts training. Not just a hobby or sport that promotes positive values. Rather, the opportunity to have our children learn real tactical smarts that may help them overcome serious dangers. Even death.
We often think that martial arts training will make children into bullies. I have written extensively on this. Including providing examples of how bullies I have taught have become solid role models and mentors to others their own age (and younger as well as older kids). More than that, these students have interposed themselves into situations where they have defended those who were unable.
I am not deluded into thinking that every situation can be overcome. But we have to start somewhere. Why not within our own homes. Be outraged at community violence. Support whatever your conscience believes is the right approach to solving these ills. But, don’t do it at the expense of our own children who have been relegated to the position of fearful spectators. Unable to understand that they, too, can be empowered to feel safe.
As for those who perpetrate violence, I have spoken of my own children sticking up for others. Violence did not ensue. And even in situations where they were concerned whether they would be harmed by standing up for another, they did so. They stopped violence ‘before’ it occurred. The knowledge that you just might make a difference is enough to help you overcome the worry of “this could happen to me.”
I teach Combat Martial Arts to children and adults. There are some, however, who fail to see that application until something happens requiring their use of skills. There are those who see only to apply their skills as a sport. Each is taught in its venue as if placed in a separate file in their minds — clearly outlining the rules. If we cannot understand the difference, then we must defer to those whose teaching ability clearly reinforces those differences.
We must permit out children to BE as prepared as possible. Not forcing them to participate. Rather, teaching them to enjoy and understanding of how and why bad people can do what they do. Then, breaking down the principles installed in overcoming these evils. The simplicity might be in explaining that you give up money or other material possessions to preclude an attack. Otherwise, understanding the mindset of the attacker.
Planning your defenses and offensive striking in event that a peaceful resolution is not possible. This comes from understanding when to strike from a distance, close in, or application of techniques that turn every day common items into weapons which will make a difference.
These are our kids. If we can’t be with them every hour of every day, then we have to do what we may to permit them to protect themselves. If we undertake that proactive posture, our children just may be the ones to save us one day. Maybe not in a physical confrontation. But in thought provoking manners that define our proffered moral values.
So. Are you ready to assist your children in feeling safer and more secure? Then don’t hesitate to have them help you find the right school for them. Listen to their concerns. Let them feel like a “Power Ranger,” their favorite Video Game Character, or, Marvel Comics Superhero. To us that would be “James Bond 007,” “Indiana Jones” and Jean-Claude Van Dam, Jet Li, or Steven Segal. Whichever your choice, they can be the next Olympic Gold Medalist, the next Martial Arts Motion Picture Superstar, or “Karate Kid.”
Whether you think it is helpful or not, it will give them an edge. They will learn personal empowerment. Respect, Valor, Character and Integrity. They will embrace Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance as well as Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility. If we permit them to believe that “Right Makes Might,” our child becomes that difference between tragedy and success. Pre-teen or teen it makes no difference. Without being directed positively, they’ll never know just how strong they really are. They’ll never know that they don’t have to be frightened of anyone — of any situation.
Respect your kids enough to teach them how to be as outraged as you — then let them do something about it that will profoundly change their lives for the better. Let them train to obtain the skills they need to NEVER be afraid again.
Our kids are worth it. And they won’t remain children forever.