With all the latest statistics on violence and the impact it has on all those involved, including the rising numbers of offenders in prison you’d be forgiven for thinking that someone somewhere must have a grand plan. Turns out not really.
Well, there is the usual political posturing around solutions, from “getting tougher on crime” to the other end of the scale where the focus is community-based rehabilitation. But none of that really helps us; the poor bugger going about his or her normal day to find it suddenly and immeasurably changed.
And then there are the instances of bullying, from cyber-bullying to physical assault that over a third of our kids and teens are subjected to on a daily basis.12 And that’s a very important statistic, because it sits at the number 2 spot in the OECD and is directly linked to both the prevalence of violent offending and mental health issues in later years.
The good news is that there are solutions. And learning self defense is a great vehicle to achieving them. Studies have shown that participating in self defense classes has a profound effect on the way you are perceived, notably those who profile others with a view to intimidating, threatening or assaulting them. One such study, the first conducted by Jocelyn Hollander Ph.D. at the Sociology Department of Oregon State University established a direct link between self defense and reducing the likelihood of becoming a victim.34
This was not news to many instructors who had witnessed their students become more confident and aware, but it validated their long-held beliefs.
But there has to be a bit more to it than that. The content must be valid in its own right. What you chose to learn must actually work, and give you the greatest statistical chance of success, from avoidance to physical intervention. Fortunately, there are systems which if taught properly, do exactly that. Systems that are not martial arts but take from them that which fits into the defined parameters widely accepted as the best in that situation. The simplest of techniques that morph with reactions and natural, instinctive responses offering everyone regardless of age or size the best solution. And as a bonus, keep you physically fit, strong and agile.
At NZKM we run regular classes for Kids, Teens, Women and Open Attendance. There are Block Courses, Workshops and Kids Holiday Programmes that go throughout the year. We boast great instructors with real life experience … and all this in the heart of Pukekohe, as well as other locations around New Zealand and Australia.
RNZ, 13 May 2019. Bullying 'intolerably high' and beyond schools' direct control - ERO (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/389056/bullying-intolerably-high-and-beyond-schools-direct-control-ero) ↩
Education Review Office (2019): Bullying Prevention and Response in New Zealand Schools ↩
Hollander, J. (2004) “’I can take care of myself’”. The Impact of Self-Defense Training on Women’s Lives” in Violence Against Women, Vol. 10 (3): 205-235 ↩
Hollander, J. (2014a) “Does Self-Defense Training Prevent Sexual Violence Against Women?” in Violence Against Women Vol. 20 (3): 252-269 ↩