Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

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Self-Defense Classes in Grade School

I do not remember ever having any self-defense conferences or events while in grade school. We had a lot of conferences, some memorable ones about fire safety or not dropping out, but none about self-defense.

I would like to see self-defense conferences at schools. From elementary school all the way through high-school, I think such conferences would help protect children and reduce the staggering rates of teen violence. Young females especially need to learn how to defend themselves from sexual assault and rape.

Many children do not think about violence and victimization until it is too late. They do not realize that the best defense is avoidance and prevention.

Self-defense conferences could teach the children how to stay safe and avoid getting in violent conflicts. They could teach the children how to prevent attacks. They could teach children how to resolve conflicts and other problems before the conflicts or problems escalate and result in the child getting hurt. For example, in many cases children have an opportunity to seek help from an adult before a situation turns into violent victimization. For another example, simply choosing to not go to the wrong party alone could be the difference between safety and victimization.

Of course, the conferences could also give kids some physical self-defense tips for when all else fails. These can include ways to incapacitate an attacker and get away, for example.

What do you think?

By | November 14th, 2007 | SHOW COMMENTS (9)


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9 Responses

  1. Lisa says

    I would be a supporter of teaching self defense basics to children in school. My kids are just beginning grade school so may be too young, but I would love for them to be introduced to some self defense skills so that they would feel more confident if a situation should arise. I’ve never heard of KidPower recommended by Joanne Factor but it looks great. Especially with bullying being so prevalent, I’d like to know my kids could defend themselves mentally and physically.

  2. pat m says

    You need self defense in the school systems. Most schools do not have insurance for that area so they do not endorse it.
    Without self defense your children are vulnerable to preditors and bullies. !

  3. This Week On says

    As a parent I think it is an excellent idea!

  4. Karen says

    I strongly believe in children learning self defense. It would be very nice if the schools would offer varying self defense classes for students to choose from, as part of their physical education programs.

    I also believe that bullying of any kind should be strictly forbidden at all schools, and that there should be zero tolerance toward offenders!!

  5. Joanne Factor says

    Another great self-defense program for children is KidPower ( I believe they offer their classes in cities across the US. I’ve been teaching self-defense classes for kids in Seattle for years, and I think KidPower is one of the best national programs in their emphasis on the range of useful skills and NON-scare approach.

  6. Casey says

    I taught my Kindergartener how to ignore the bigger kids on the bus. It’s a start in the “Daddy Self Defense” regimen that will be in session for as long as he’s in school.

  7. Janet Goliger says

    Suggest to your local schools to look at the C.L.A.S.S. Self-Defense program. This is a structured self-defense curriculum for K-12 that teaches conflict resolution, awareness, self-defense techniques from bullies and attackers, and total proactive approaches. It was designed by a physical education teacher who is also a black belt with many years of experience. This program is used throughout the country in public school districts and private schools. The kids have fun while learning in a non-threatening environment and are taught by a qualified certificated teacher that they know and trust. It’s been around for 8 years.

    The backpack idea is fine to a point, but think about it. At any given time, the attacker can grab the backpack and your kid, or at minimum, toss the backpack aside. If the child does not know how to defend without this tool, what good is it?

  8. Bill Conway says

    Your observations are correct. Although some school districts are acknowledging the need for training and drills for “intruders” and lock-down procedures are becoming more commonplace, it seems that the prevailing attitude is that specific training to deal with violent acts implies that a given school is unsafe. By refusing to confront the problem directly, school administrators seem to be hoping that it will go away.
    I think it is important for the parents to make sure that the topics of school shootings and violence are adressed. It’s not like the children don’t follow the media and know all about gun violence. I also think we, as parents, need to take responsibility for addressing the issue at home as well. We can’t leave it up to the schools to apply 1 size fits all training.
    This is obviously on a lot of peoples’ minds. The best invention I have seen for child safety is the bullet-proof backpack at . At least this gives me something I can put in my child’s hands and discuss the problem. It also makes me think a little bit more about what to tell my child to do to protect themselves if they feel threatened by guns. I hope more people come up with ideas like the bulletproof bookbag.

  9. Steve Lane says

    I think this is a great idea. As a parent, I know I’d like to believe that my child lives in a safe and secure world, but that would be living in denial and irresponsible of me. It’s just smart to talk to kids about safety and what they can do to protect themselves in case they are ever attacked or assaulted.


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