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Should I have my daughter take a self-defense class?

I'm thinking of enrolling my 12 year old daughter in a self-defense class. The class descriptions says ages 12 to adult, so she's technically old enough, and I feel like it would be good for her to know at this age. The problem is that I don't want to scare her with the thought that she's likely to get physically assaulted. If you were in my situation, would you wait a couple more years?

Answers

I began martial arts when I was 13, so around the same age, and eight years later, I'm still doing it :) I think it's important to keep in mind whether or not you want to avoid scaring your daughter, or have her aware that physical assault is an unfortunate reality, particularly for young girls. Although the idea might be foreign and unsettling, most children and adolescents find the idea of being able to defend themselves and knowing what to do to be a huge confidence-booster. It can also make you more aware of your surroundings (thereby decreasing the risk of anything happening to begin with) and less likely to resort to aggression unless the situation calls for it, because you've been trained to recognize when something is an actual threat. I have done some extensive background literature on martial arts and behavior through my undergraduate honors thesis on it at ASU. I hope this helps! 

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User in Roanoke, VA
June 20, 2016

It wouldn't hurt for her to take this course because on top of this being an opportunity to learn how to defend herself at an early age, it is a great source of exercise.

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