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Would you teach your son to fight or defend himself?
Married Life / 2:41 PM - Monday August 24, 2009

Would you teach your son to fight or defend himself?

My son is 8 years old and well liked. He hasn't been in any fights, that I know of, yet and has never said he's had any problems at school. My fear is what he will do when approached to fight. Although we don't have a problem, I just want to be prepared. My husband says all boys fight and he will teach him to punch and kick soon. Although I amagainst violence, I don't want my son to end up hurt becuase we never taught him this. My Mom ways my husband is wrong and should not show him how to hurt another kid. How have you handled teaching young children ways to defend themselves?

- Asked by Female, 29-35

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I told my son that he is to never throw the first punch. And if someone ever punches him, he has every right and my blessing to lay the kid out. In fact, if my son was ever hit and he stood there and didn't defend himself, he'd be in trouble with *me.*

I want to get my son enrolled in a martial arts class, because they stress the fact that it is a *self defence* class and NOT a fighting class. Big difference!

- Response by seductivepisces9, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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The art of defending yourself IS how to control yourself when using fighting skills. I had both of my boys in karate from that age for several years/belts. The main thing it teaches is self discipline and control. They were both very non violent and they were both singled out and picked on once or twice. They knew exactly what to do and after a fairly serious thrashing of the bully, never had any problems again.

- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

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YES, children should know this bcz there are frigging sick ass ppl in the world who hurt children not to mention creepy ass bullies in the school districts.

- Response by clueless37, An Alternative Girl, Female, 46-55, Celebrity

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Teach him how to defend himself.
Odds are he will need to use it.

- Response by jjcabin, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Washington, DC, Technical

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I wouldnt want my son going to pick fights just for the fun of it, but if somebody approaches him and starts sh*t then he has every right to fight back. I think you should teach him the basics or get him in a karate class or something.

- Response by An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25

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I got into the sport of wrestling when I was young. It taught me how to defend myself and potentially force someone into a submisive position with the right leverage and technique. I liked wrestling because I could battle with someone and put them in a position where they couldn't do anything to defend themselves. I knew how to hurt people but never really had to because I knew how to properly defend myself and prove to them I could hurt them if I needed to. Wrestling also taught me dozens of other life skills.

- Response by chal08, A Rebel, Male, 29-35

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I think boys should take karate lessons, they learn so much from it. It helped my g-grandson to actually stop fighting.

- Response by nowornever, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Financial / Banking

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My first child (and second) was a boy. I didn't know anything about boys. I was against violence and never thought it'd happen to my child.

BUT, he was on a playground and I was watching when he got his little ass kicked by some other children. It threw him (and me) for a loop. I watched him, after the shock wore off, start hitting the other kids that hit him. I marched over there and scolded my son for violence and brought him back to sit with me. Another mom was with me and when I finally allowed my son to go swing, she leaned over and said, "You should never punish your son for defending himself."

That really made me think. I apologised to my son. I told my husband about it, and he gave my son punching lessons. AND he told him that he shouldn't start a fight, but if someone started a fight with him, he should finish it. He told him to get the first punch in, and hit the kid hard enough to make his nose bleed - and that move alone would stop a bully.

Sounded horrible, I know...but, we are animals and fighting happens - and I was shocked when it happened to my son, but I realized I had a responsibility to teach my son to protect himself.

Later, my son asked to take karate lessons and he went through the ranks for years and become a brown belt.

As he got older, he got into a couple of fights, but he never started one. And the fights didn't amount to much. They never really got off the ground for anyone to get seriously hurt or for a punishment to occur.

He is now in the US Navy and is defending freedom.

There are worse things than teaching your son to punch and kick. Like him getting his ass kicked by someone else. It's demeaning and it effects their self-esteem.

My youngest son just doesn't like violence. He learned to defend himself, but woudn't. When he was in middle school, everyday this bully would push him down in the hallway and the other kids would laugh. He'd get in the car many days and just cry from embarrassment. BUT, it was his choice not to defend himself. I told him if he decided to hit the kid, I would happily accept him getting suspended from school.

My older son was fearful that his little brother would get his ass served to him on a platter when he got in high school. Nothing happened. No fights. No bullying.

My youngest son is in college now, no worse for wear.

My point is: teach them to defend themselves. THEY are the ones who encounter these things. You probably won't be there when it happens - and they have to know what to do IF they choose to do anything. You don't want your child to become a "target" for bullies because he has no knowledge of how to defend himself, and doesn't think he has your support if a situation develops where he needs to defend himself.

I think you're right to prepare him. With the knowledge of defensive moves, also comes the responsibility of knowing when it's appropriate to use these skills. As long as you teach him that as well, he'll be prepared to make the best choices for whatever situation develops.

- Response by kiki812, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Atlanta, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I always tought my kid, If you going to hit somebody expect to get hit back and if somteone hits you, kick there but. .I do agree that you child should know how to defend themself. Its a bad world out there. some parents teach there kids to fight, just to fight, a game, for fun, and you want you son, ready to take on one of those kids. hopefully he never will, but he will be ready for it.

- Response by dana1148, A Player, Female, 36-45, Philadelphia, Who Cares?

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Your husband is right. Odds of him going thru all of his school years, without at least ONE bully trying to pick a fight, are pretty low.

Your mother is wrong, and like a typical woman, you both just want to coddle your son.

Your husband isn't talking (from what I read) about teaching him to initiate a fight, but rather, how to defend himself.

And since neither you, nor your mother, are the ones that could be picked on and bullied in school, you should let your husband handle this, and stop pretending that school fights don't happen.

- Response by steve67, A Rebel, Male, Who Cares?

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