The Conversation

Teach Kids Self-Defense

In response to Why School Bullying Must Be Stopped Immediately:

It's not the answer for every child and certainly not for every situation, but I believe the glaring omission in the ongoing national anti-bullying campaign is self-defense.

I studied karate as a youngster and it made a big difference. I never picked fights but I was never afraid to take one on after that if I had no other alternative.

Merely being willing to fight back, even against older or bigger kids, is enough to frighten or embarrass a bully--or to buy time until a grownup arrives.

It's also good preparation for dangerous situations that may arise later. I once fought off a would-be mugger who threatened to kill me. He was later arrested and convicted.

I believe I was able to react because of the skills I learned as a kid. Being able to throw a good punch is, for many children, the best anti-bullying policy.

I'm a a little worried about what it says about us as a nation when we seem to have forgotten that, alongside worthy efforts to teach kids to be more sensitive to one another.



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