Tom, thanks for sharing your background and I believe there’s a lot of us who’ve endured similar childhoods. Those of us in the martial arts know how little violence solves, yet we’re ready for it should it come. I’ve read some other articles on Medium from authors who took martial arts and feel the same, so we can’t be a fluke. Given that violence is going to be around us no matter what, it’s—as you said—a huge disservice to children not to educate them about it. We warn our kids about the dangers of the street, so why not about violence and the bullies around us?

Like you, I plan to bring my daughter to train when she’s of age to learn basic defense and to help her gain confidence. Whether she continues will be her decision, but she already likes to “fight” me when we roughhouse (and she’s obsessed with SuperGirl). I’m hoping our kids learn the value of restraint and become bully proof as they grow. Best to you and your son!

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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