The Benefits of Self-Defence Training in Schools
We all want the best for our children. Their safety is at the top of this list – which is why self-defence training is a critical component of EVERY child’s education. In addition to improving your child’s safety, there are several other benefits of good quality self-defence training.
School is a deliberately sheltered environment where children can safely explore their boundaries and make mistakes. In the world outside school the safety barriers are down, yet many pupils do not moderate their behaviour accordingly. Understanding the various threats, including terrorist attacks and how to identify them early (and thus avoid them) is an important first step.
Confidence and Personal Security Awareness
Young people leaving school today have far more confidence than their parents at the same point in their lives. This confidence is, in many cases, not backed up by the awareness and ability to maintain personal safety leading to a vulnerability gap which can often be exploited. Comprehensive self-defence training develops real confidence that is backed up by mental and physical capability, without creating arrogance or the need to show off the newly acquired skills. Self-defence training should be based on identification and avoidance in the first instance and defence and withdrawal if physical violence cannot be avoided.
Children miss school for all sorts of reasons, some are to do with bullying or the fear they encounter getting to school in the first place. Children who are less fearful are more likely to attend school and will be less distracted when at school.
With increased confidence, improved physical defence ability and a better understanding of individual rights, potential victims of bullying are more likely to stand up to the perpetrators and have the ability to protect themselves if necessary. In addition, those considering exerting physical control over another will understand the potential sanctions they are opening themselves up to, but also that they may lose the engagement. In my experience of aggressive people who take up the study of a martial arts or similar, in the vast majority of cases they become calmer because they have an outlet for their stress. In the cases where this does not hold true, it is usually down to poor guidance from their instructor, so it is important that schools are careful to choose a reputable organisation to deliver self-defence training.
Mental health is a hot topic in schools but developing mental resilience can be a daunting subject to deliver. Self-defence training is a great vehicle for addressing how to deal with high stress situations. Various techniques are available for dealing with potentially dangerous encounters such as visualisation and breathing – which have other benefits from reducing stress and enhancing restful sleep, to maintaining cognitive performance and improving exam results. The latter being the primary focus for parents, pupils and schools alike.
Health and Safety Compliance
As boring as it may be, all organisations including schools must comply with Health and Safety legislation. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) Section 2(1) sets out the general duties of employers to protect their employees – but Section 3(1) states that ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.’ ‘Persons not in employment’ refers to customers, visitors, contractors and students, to name but few. This requires controlling all risks (including the risk of violence) by reasonable training, information, instruction and supervision. Self-defence training is a relatively cheap, easy and effective method to achieve this compliance and when taught well – is enjoyable for the students.
Book a free consultation with Absolute Defence now to start getting all these benefits.