Putting Up a Fight

Should all schools teach their students self defense?

Zoie Cecil, Reporter

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Self-defense is probably a concept most of us are familiar with, but might not know entirely what it entails. In this day and age, self-defense is important not only for people with jobs that require that type of training, but also students in a high school setting.

When parents hear about fighting in school, they try to avoid their kid being subjected to violence. What they don’t realize is that if they taught their kid self-defense, it would keep them from fighting in schools, or at least deter them from it.

Self-defense can help you be aware of things going on around you, and it can help you be prepared if something happens to someone else. You’re ready to help anyone around you by being alert and attentive.

“If you’re prepared [for a fight], you don’t look like a victim,” Hickman Resource Officer Sean Dutton said. “If you’d had some training, and you have some knowledge on how to defend yourself, one of the things you learn is being aware of your surroundings. The way you carry yourself, it’s not arrogant, but you have this presence about you. You’re prepared, you’re looking around, you’re seeing stuff around you.”

When you start to learn self-defense it can help you anticipate certain situations that could happen to you in school, like being pinned against a wall, or being pulled/pushed. When you’re being attacked, you’ll be able to expect the move, and preemptively know how to defend yourself and get out of that situation.

Self-defense teacher Jesse Monroe gives this example on why you should learn self-defense, “a 90 year old lady who’s getting her purse stolen, or getting robbed, may not be able to defend herself, but somebody who has a self-defense skill may be able to protect her in that situation.”

Knowing self-defense could not only help you, but others around you. If you see a situation going bad, and have self-defense training, you could save someone from being in a potentially dangerous situation.

“I think it’s logical to learn how to defend yourself in certain situations, especially with how things are now today,” junior Kari Harbour said. “I think it’s not too bad to learn how to defend yourself.”

In the U.S., over 750,000 students aged from 12-18 years have directly experienced violent crimes, which can lead these youth to develop low self-esteem and aggression later in life. At least one out of ten middle schoolers experiences bullying and most of these kids don’t have a clue how to defend themselves, and that can leave the children with low self-esteem issues.

Self-defense, as Monroe says, is “a skill that is easily forgotten,” which is why he encourages people who’ve taken his classes to keep going. In Columbia there are many places to learn self-defense skills, such as karate classes you can take at Rifkin Professional Karate Center, or Hockman’s ATA Martial Arts to learn the skill, or brush up on your knowledge. It’s such an important skill to have; it can teach you physical skills, self-discipline, and can encourage self-confidence.