Why All Parents Should Learn Self-Defense

Why All Parents Should Learn Self-Defense

(Picture Above: My wife Kristine and I at the hospital with our son Ethan about 2 days after he was born)

Being a parent is one of life’s greatest adventures. This past November, my wife gave birth to Ethan, our first child. The moment he was delivered in that hospital room, I knew that it was my duty to both love, as well as protect this child, from anything that may harm him. While we live in what is quite possibly the safest time in history, we must also recognize that violence is not a thing of the past. With the presence of school shooters, violent assaults, and even acts of terrorism taking place both here and abroad, it is clear that we as parents need to be aware of the threats of the world our children are growing up in. While many parents espouse the importance of protecting their children, I find that very few parents take the subject of self-defense seriously. In this article, I will explain why all parents need to learn self-defense, and how a parent can attain and develop such skills to ensure they and their children are safer.

There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like being a parent. The level of love and responsibility that goes into parenthood is something unlike anything else I’ve experienced in my life. There are many activities that are required of a parent, which include, but are not limited to:

-Feeding the child

-Bathing the child

-Cleaning diapers (for those of us with newborns, infants, and toddlers)

-Providing a roof over the child’s head.

-Clothing the child.

-Making sure the car seat works.

All of the above points have one thing in common: They are all done in order to protect the child’s health, safety, and well-being. It is our God-given duty as parents to protect our children from anything that may harm them physically, mentally, or emotionally. We as parents have this instinct innately created within us the moment our child is born and the moment we hold them in our arms.

For the most part, we here in the United States live in a secure and safe society. For those who live in American “suburbia”, the possibility of a violent attack seems worlds away. However, it must also be said that our society is still no stranger to violence. It seems that every few weeks, we hear about an active shooter or terrorist attack occurring somewhere, whether here in the United States or abroad. Turn on the local news every night and you will find no shortage of muggings, kidnappings, sexual assault, or even murder taking place in nearby cities. The fact is that this world we are raising our children in is susceptible to a level of violence that we did not see in the previous generation, and we as parents must take our jobs as protectors of our children seriously in these times.

(The following video has footage of attempted kidnappings on children. These are simply examples of the violence we as parents need to be ready for.)

If you are a parent, I simply ask this question to you: “What would you do if someone, or a group of people, tried to physically harm your child?”

From my experience, the answer is typically one of the following:

Denial (AKA “That-Will-Never-Happen-to-Me” Syndrome”)

Anger (“How dare you even bring up such a thing?!”)

Sadness (“I don’t even want to think about that *sobs*.”)


Now, I cannot do much for the first three responses. However, when someone gives me the fourth response, my question to them is, “Great, now how do you do that?” Usually, this is met with a blank stare.  

While most of us parents see ourselves as protectors of our children, the truth is that many parents do not take the time to acquire the skills they would need to effectively deal with a violent attack on their children. I firmly believe that all parents must possess at least some self-defense knowledge in order to ensure our children do exactly as we hope: To live long, healthy, full lives, and to eventually replace us someday when our time on Earth comes to an end.

You may be thinking, “I get it. I need to learn how to protect myself. But where do I start?”

Here’s what I recommend:

1) Get First Aid Certified: Self-Defense is not just about learning how to fight. Choking on a toy, bleeding from an accident, or falling and hitting their head are all far more likely than someone trying to kidnap or kill your child. Learn how to heal as well as how to fight.

2) Learn How to Use a Firearm: Whether you like them, or hate them, guns are at the top of the personal-protection-tool food chain. They are relatively easy to use. Learn how to Carry it. Learn how to draw it, especially under stress. Learn how to shoot it. If you are a civilian, my friends at Texas Handgun Academy in Dallas are a great place to learn. Sayoc Tactical Group specializes in training military and law enforcement, but they sometimes offer civilian courses in handgun tactics.

3) Learn How to Use a Blade: Blades are an excellent option for those who cannot carry a firearm in their state or city. Even if one does carry a firearm for protection, a blade is still the better option if choosing a lethal force tool at close-quarters in a life-and-death situation when you are protecting your children. The two best systems I’ve found for learning blade fighting is Sayoc Kali and Atienza Kali. They are the best around when it comes to blade fighting, period. 

4) Learn How to Hit Hard: Learn how to strike with your hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Learn how to grapple too. If you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area, check out Striker Fight Center for such skills (they also have Atienza Kali there as well). If you are in the New Jersey area, visit my friends at Strategic Combat Academy. Both places will get you trained in those areas. Also, learn how to use a Stick or Baton. Such tools are able to inflict damage on an adversary, without necessarily resulting in lethal force (depending on where you hit). If you are in the Dallas area, come by our place, Bayani Warrior Martial Arts, where we teach how to use both sticks and empty hands. 

So, to all my fellow parents out there, embrace your role as protector, and develop the skills to be a better one. The knowledge is out there. All you need to do is go out and seek it. 

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