Non-violent self-defence is hardly discussed, and yet one of the toughest parts of being a parent is the day that your child comes home saying they’ve been pushed around by someone at school.

If it happens so often we can feel frustrated that we have let them down in some way that we allowed them to be deemed “weak” enough to be prey in some form.

Although self-defence classes are one avenue, we have to teach our children a variety of self-defence strategies that aren’t just to do with boxing or karate.

Using the Opponent’s Weight Against Them

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the smaller we are the weaker we are. This is not the case.

You only have to read more about how force works to gain insight into momentum and if you can use someone’s weight against them. It is such a cliché, but the bigger they the harder they actually fall! 

Yes, while self-defence classes like karate can show your child how to use an opponent’s weight against them, this isn’t the whole picture.

It is also about being aware of one’s surroundings. If someone attempts to swing for your child, teach them the ability to dodge. They will move out of the way and recognise that while that bully is moving through the air, a little nudge is all they need to “face-plant”!

Body Language

Part of the reason we get bullied is that we are seen as an “easy target.”

Teaching your children good posture and making sure that they are confident individuals in themselves can do a lot to ward off the vast majority of bullies. Walking with shoulders back, making eye contact and having an understanding of one’s surroundings can make a significant difference. 

Additionally, tone of voice is critical.

We have to remember that if your child sends out the signals that they know how to assert and defend themselves, this will mean that many bullies will just not bother to make an effort.

Assertive language skills can make a big difference to your child, not just in relation to bullies but in terms of your child’s confidence.

Train Verbal Defence

A bully is not normally aware of any other option but to use the fear of others to make themselves feel better. Much of the time, they have no comprehension of anything apart from their abilities to intimidate.

If they are trying to make your child feel inferior by talking them down, while it’s not a good idea to encourage your child to engage in a slanging match, verbal defence is an effective tool in the right environments. 

Bullies thrive on self-preservation, and if something makes them feel less intimidating to everyone they often lose their power. Sometimes, just making the bully aware that you know something about them can make them take a step away – or just using strong and powerful words can help diffuse the situation.

Defence is an essential life skill, and if your child comes home saying that they’ve been bullied by someone, there are a number of tactics beyond karate classes that can work wonders.

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