Self-defence classes for children

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Primary How to deal with a daughter who has sports day anxiety
Many schools and local authorities now run self-defence classes for children. They're fun, great confidence boosters and will help your children get fit, which is important if they find themselves in a situation where they need to run away fast.

It's worth getting children to try a couple of different activities before signing up, to see which one suits them.


Cost: around £2.
Age: four upwards.
Advantages: provides discipline, self-awareness and a grade structure ranging from white belt to black belt.
Disadvantages: karate is a controlled sport which must be supervised. It's not to be used in the playground.


Cost: similar to karate.
Age: five upwards.
Advantages: provides discipline, self-confidence and has a grading structure.
Disadvantages: it can get very physical.
The British Judo Association also runs Personal Safety Advice Courses. Prices vary according to the length of the course.

Tae Kwon Do

Cost: around £3.
Age: five upwards.
Advantages: less aggressive than other defence sports.
Disadvantages: requires good levels of strength and skill.


Cost: around £4.
Age: five upwards.
Advantages: good examination, grading structure to provide incentive.
Disadvantages: must be constantly supervised.

General self-defence

Many self-defence classes are a mixture of the above techniques. Check that coaches hold an appropriate qualification.
Cost: about £5 a session.
Age: varies from class to class.
Advantages: provides a good introduction to self-defence.
Disadvantages: kids don't get the targets to work towards that they'd get with a proper martial art.

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