Social Defence as the first and best form of Self Defence

Last term in our kids superhero classes, we taught the use of positive language and reframing difficult situations to see alternative perspectives. This is a fundamental skill to develop in terms of focusing on solutions (rather than problems) and in strengthening our children to survive the challenges they face. We teach this positive focus in all our education programs, using solution-focused and positive language in our curriculum, encouraging all students, not just our kids, to make a habit of seeing past, around or through difficulties. One of the ways we can learn to do this is through acquiring Social Defence skills.

What is Social Defence?

Essentially social defence is about building and developing social relating skills. It includes way to manage social interactions, strengthen social skills and communication, and manage conflict (getting along better with others, dealing with disagreements, avoiding negative situations, and not allowing other people to affect us). However, it extends beyond common definitions of conflict management. We choose not to refer to these skills in those terms when working with children. Firstly, because of the less positive connotations associated with the word ‘conflict’. Secondly, because that language implies the skills we are teaching them are relevant only in conflict or challenging situations, and in fact, they are good skills to learn to apply in all social interactions.

…the best form of self defence is not having to use karate at all…

We regularly reinforce with our students that the best form of self defence is not having to use their karate skills at all. It is always better to diffuse a situation before it becomes a physical attack. However, children who find themselves in a challenging or difficult social situation (or worse) are not always aware of what other options they have to manage the situation best. In our programs this term, we will be actively teaching kids these key skills that are usually missing from Martial Arts training programs: how to protect themselves without using physical techniques, and learning effective strategies about what to do instead.

Self defence extends beyond responding to an attack:
it is preparatory, proactive and protective.

Our social defence curriculum covers dealing with others, defence in the world around us, and social defence within ourselves. This last type of defence is very important, and refers to managing situations when we feel in conflict with our own values. This topic aligns with one of our foremost ParagonInc values, Respect, which underpins everything we do. With respect as a foundation to teaching social defence, we feel our students will be better equipped to consolidate their learnings and understand real life self defence beyond the superhero lessons at the Supercentre.

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