Martial Arts; Equipping Children in Dangerous Times

Martial Arts; Equipping Children in Dangerous Times

It's so hard to believe that our Nation has experienced yet another horrific school shooting.  As a parent, that has to be the single most frightening event that could come to mind.  We send our children off to school each day never to imagine that their safety may become jeopardized.  However, in our current environment, this is now a problem that we must conern ourselves with.  As a Martial Arts Instructor, I feel a huge responsibility to my students and families to do my very best to ensure that my students are equipped to take on some of these new challenges that we face as a nation.

First and foremost, my number one goal is to foster an environmment where children are empowered.  Now empowermment can have both a positive and negative connotation.  When I say empowerment, I don't mean children that are taught at age 5 that their opinions trump their partents.  No, empowerment, is instilling a sense of value and worth into a child.  That inner knowing that says, I'm not going to allow someone else to make me feel small or insignificant.  It's extremely easy today with social media for kids to tear one another down from the inside out.  This kind of hostile environment prompts children to want to either hurt themselves or others.

Secondly, to teach children core values such as; respect for oneself and for others, courtesy, integrity, honsety and courage.  These core values that our nation was built upon seem to be missing in today's society.  The current code is, when we know something isn't right, we say nothing.  Many witnesses from the school of this latest shooting said that they weren't surprised that this young man did this.  Many kids will say after a suicide has taken place that they knew that the victim was being harassed frequently.  Yet, nothing was said.  Teaching these crucial core values to young people is key.  We must teach our children that there is a responsibility to be courageous enough to say something when you know it's wrong.  If we see someone being harassed at school or over social media, you have a responsibility to inform parents, teachers, administrators.  If you hear someone making threats to harm others, you have a responsibility to let people know that there have been threats made, including the police.

Lastly, to teach my student's how to assess their surrounding.  Can you spot possible dangers?  Can you think clearly in a high pressure situation?  And if need be, can you defend against danger?  In our Martial Arts Classes, we are able to create high pressure situations in a safe environment for kids to be able to rehearse various circumstances that thay might find themselves in.  This is important as we will naturally perform what we practice regularly.  Anything extra that we can arm our children with to help them feel more confident when they step out independantly is worth it.  An empowered, confident child with a solid moral compass is unstoppable.

As a parent, I personally don't believe in fear responses.  When we react out of fear, it usually doesn't turn our in our favor.  However, being educated, practiced and prepared can be a game changer for everyone.  Our prayers and thoughts of comfort go out to all the prescious families of Parkland.  

If you'd like more information on how to empower your children, we're here to help.  Through classes, bully awareness workshops, school talks or mentoring.


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