Scenario Based Self Defence Training

Did you know that three in five 11- to 16-year-olds are the victims of bullying in school? Nowadays, smart parents are looking for ways to keep their children safe. Martial arts and self-defence classes are the natural first port of call for their searches. But we suggest a solution many haven’t heard of: krav maga.

Here are ten reasons why, in our opinion, krav maga is the best form of self-defence for children:

1. Krav maga works!

There are many fun and worthwhile martial arts that can teach your children impressive-looking skills. However, a focus of such martial arts is achieving grading and winning competitions.

Krav maga prioritises the teaching of simple close combat skills that have been proven to work on the streets. It strips away all distractions, so students can achieve total mastery of these skills as quickly as possible.

As a scenario-based self-defence system, krav maga teaches children how to protect themselves from a range of possible attacks. They learn defences from attacks like chokes, kicks, and shirt grabs to punches and slaps. It educates them on the value of knowledge and technique over strength. This is an important lesson should a child ever need to defend themselves against an adult.

Children who learn martial arts rarely have the knowledge and technique to handle a real-life threat. In contrast, those trained in krav maga will know exactly what to do if attacked. This in itself can give them an advantage that may even throw their attacker off guard.

2. Krav maga prioritises safety and de-escalation

The best time to stop a fight is before it happens. If someone is determined to hurt your child, their best chance of survival is to get away from their attacker.

Students will be taught how to use the power of their voice to de-escalate situations. Simultaneously they learn to maintain a ready, open stance should they need to run or fight (ideally run).

Of course, sometimes a physical response will be necessary. Ultimately, krav maga provides young people with the skills they need to keep themselves safe. Not only from school bullies, but from threats they might face on the streets – from other children or adults.

Martial arts classes tend to be technique-focused, rarely discussing real-life threats. And while other self-defence systems may emphasise de-escalation and escape skills, this tends to vary by class and instructor.

These vital skills are built into the very foundations of krav maga. As is the importance of using krav maga strikes in accordance with the law.

3. You can fit krav maga into your child’s daily routine

Krav maga doesn’t have to be an all-consuming activity in your child’s life. With martial arts, children often have to commit to two or three days a week of training. This is especially the case when belt gradings or competitions are coming up.

There is no such pressure on a krav maga student. While your child can certainly attend extra classes, just one session a week will reap fast and consistent rewards. The reason: as explained before, krav maga self-defence skills are purposefully designed to be easy to remember and deploy. This makes it easy to fit krav maga around homework, sports training, music lessons, tutoring and other important activities.

If you find that your child wants to do more sessions a week than there are available, check if your club offers an online or hybrid programme.

4. Krav maga promotes positive mental health and emotional intelligence

Krav maga is about much more than teaching physical self-defence. The sense of personal achievement children and teens get from mastering krav maga techniques also helps to build their self-esteem. This is something that is much needed in today’s complex world where children face many pressures.

In fact, krav maga helps children to develop a range of emotional and mental skills. Skills such as emotional resilience, alertness, vigilance, information retention, anger management, goal setting and a strong work ethic.

Some of these skills are transferable outside of a combat scenario. For one example, a child who can demonstrate focus, self-discipline, and patience to progress in their krav maga. They can do the same to achieve the grades they need at school.

Krav maga also teaches young people about ways to de-escalate conflicts, and how to act to avoid attracting trouble.

5. Krav maga is an accepting community

Krav maga is founded on a philosophy of accessibility. No one should miss out on the skills to defend themselves because of their age, size, gender, culture, religion, ability level or social class.

You will find that Krav Maga classes are warm, friendly, and encouraging. Every child is accepted for who they are. Krav maga classes are usually affordable. Money should not be a barrier to learning how to defend oneself.

To be sure of a positive experience, we recommend joining a FEKM-UK affiliated club. FEKM-UK is the UK sector of the world’s largest krav maga organisation, the European Federation of Krav Maga. With over 20,000 members in 14 countries, FEKM is a truly diverse community. The FEKM was founded by Richard Douieb, who was trained by its creator Imi Lichtenfeld.

6. Krav maga offers a structured path of progression

The focus of krav maga is self-defence, not impressing grading panels or collecting medals. However, children will follow a junior syllabus that connects with a coloured belt system. By joining a FEKM affiliated club, there is no limit to how far a junior member can progress. When they become an adult, they could even train to become a FEKM instructor.

7. There are no prerequisites for joining a krav maga class

Krav maga doesn’t put unnecessary barriers in the way of children wanting to learn to keep themselves safe. Some people worry that they need previous experience in a self-defence but this is not the case. Nor do they need to be of a certain fitness level.

Krav maga is a system that can be applied by anybody, even those with no previous interest in self-defence. Even if a child lacks muscle, has poor coordination or is overweight, they start benefitting from their very first session.

As they progress, they will become stronger, fitter and more able to handle themselves in a tough situations. The only thing they need to bring on their first day is a willingness to give their best.

8. Krav maga can be specifically tailored to children and teenagers

It is not enough for a self-defence class to accept children. Children have different needs and capabilities to adults, and this must be considered when teaching them. It could even be dangerous to teach some self-defence techniques to children.

FEKM accredited Krav maga clubs adapt their classes to follow a dedicated junior syllabus. Safeguarding is a priority, so some of the more extreme moves are left out. Young people need to develop their emotional maturity and self-discipline. It is only further on that they can be trusted with the full repertoire of krav maga moves.

Children have a lot of energy, and this needs to be channelled into physical activity. A junior krav maga syllabus will have a focus on fitness, complete with a full warm-up and cool down.

9. Krav maga promotes fitness, strength and flexibility

When children come to krav maga training, they will receive an all-around workout. This will focus on increasing their cardiovascular fitness, strength and flexibility. Anyone can learn the technical aspects of krav maga. However, there is no doubt that physical fitness adds an extra dimension to a child’s self-defence skills.

For children classed as overweight or obese, krav maga helps burn more calories, supporting their return to a healthier weight. And while they’re training – they’re not snacking!

Improving fitness levels is not just about health and wellbeing. A strong, fit and supple child will be able to run faster, and for longer. Children will be able to scale walls; dodge attacks and otherwise maximise their chances of escaping conflict. If they are unable to get away, Krav Maga will help them stay on their feet. They may be physically and mentally prepared to be hit harder, take more punishment and maintain their balance better.

If you’re weighing up sending your child to self-defence classes or the gym, krav maga is the perfect win-win combination.

10. Krav maga teaches young people to be aware of their surroundings

How many children with smartphones are aware of their surroundings when out and about? How can they hope to react to an attack, or escape from a hostile situation, if they are oblivious to what is going on around them?

An important part of krav maga training is developing a skill known as ‘situational awareness’. This is used by the military, the police and close protection personnel to alert them to any threats in their environment.

Situational awareness is a calm state of readiness rather than nervous anxiety. Opportunist criminals, like pickpockets and street robbers, prefer to target those who are unaware of what’s going on around them. Krav maga students often avoid danger simply by showing that they are ‘street smart’.

In Conclusion

Overall, Krav Maga training offers a lot of tangible mental and physical self-confidence benefits to children. It can also serve as a fun and positive after-school activity that teaches them valuable lessons, instils patience, respect, discipline, and ethics.

These values can help your child build upstanding character traits they will carry on into adulthood. Have a look at our Kids Krav Maga Self Defence Classes in Brixton and find out how we can help.