We didn’t hit our Open Thread yesterday, so let’s do it today instead.
What is your opinion of kids learning how to fight, not with a goal of fighting, but with a goal of Knowing How To Fight? Knowing how to fight is in my opinion a preventative to actually getting into fights.
I’m certainly no pacifist. While Martin Luther King Jr. is unquestionably the leader I most look up to, in many ways, I believe Malcolm X’s approach was more applicable to the situation. I’m not certain he executed as effectively, but there are times when violence is unfortunately unavoidable, given the state of the world.
Additionally, I believe all skills are worth acquiring. Steel work to language mastery to writing, they all have value. Learning to fight is no different. You want to put your moppet in a karate class, fantastic. In a vacuum, I don’t believe the ability to deliver a well-executed roundhouse kick can hurt anyone.
However, there has to be some life situation education to go along with the physical component.
Early in my playing career, I had a teammate who had been boxing for several years. He was trained to strike and was a solid all-around athlete. My man was plenty equipped to handle himself in the street, at least physically. One night, after a few beers, there was a road rage confrontation with another driver. My teammate urged the other dude to pull over and “handle it.” Turns out, the other driver was a professional grappler, and he fucked up my teammate pretty good. It was a “hospitalized” level beat down.
There will always be someone out there tougher than you. A false sense of security can be worse than none at all. Believing that because you have your brown belt in Judo, you’re safe to fight in the streets is simply absurd. Again, I advocate developing skills, but you should be mindful that it is a last resort and only in an absolutely necessary situation.
More importantly, if your goal is to keep your kid safe and prevent fights, teach them conflict resolution.
Many people believe that violence is basic to human nature; that violence has been deeply imbedded in the human brain since the beginning of time; that there is nothing we can do about it.
But many scientists who study human behavior think differently. They believe that humans have learned to use violence in response to a more basic fact of life—conflict. Some of these scientists suggest that, if human beings have learned to use violent methods to deal with conflict in the past, they can learn to use other, more constructive methods to deal with conflict in the future.
Around here, we advocate toughening both our bodies and our minds. We are on a perpetual hunt to sharpen ourselves and those around us. Being more physically powerful unequivocally leads to higher level of confidence. Being able to control and manage that power with a strong mind is the ultimate aim.