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Teaching Little Girls to Kick Some Ass

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If knowledge is power, so is learning to defend yourself.

momlogic's Momstrosity: You know the drill. To keep our kids safe, we've got to teach them about stranger danger, never let them out of our sight and obsessively check the National Sex Offender Registry for suspicious neighbors. Is that all we have at our disposal to protect our little girls? How about teaching them to kick some ass?

In her article on the Huffington Post, Ellen Snortland -- a.k.a. the Safety Godmother -- examines how the media consistently dropped the ball on promoting self-defense in their coverage of the Chelsea King tragedy. Seventeen-year-old King was abducted, raped and killed by a convicted sex offender earlier this month. "Not ONCE was there a mention of training our kids in handling encounters with dangerous people," writes Snortland.

Snortland, herself a victim of assault, penned "Beauty Bites Beast" when she realized that she (and most women) had never been given the tools to protect themselves. "My god, we're surrounded by violence in the news and entertainment," she says. "Why didn't anyone teach me how to defend myself?"

One tenet she subscribes to is, "You can never start too young." "I believe that kids should learn personal safety at about the same time they learn fire drills and how to cross the street safely," she says. Snortland believes that teaching self-defense early will give kids -- particularly girls -- self-confidence that will carry them into adulthood. Snortland says that one question she's repeatedly asked is whether early training can scare younger kids. But she says there's no reason to be graphic. "When you're teaching kids traffic safety, parents aren't telling their kids the gruesome details of what happens if they're hit by a car," she says. "Children understand a car is dangerous."

In IMPACT Personal Safety classes, children as young as 5 learn how to defend themselves in mock assault or abduction scenarios, fending off attacks from people dressed in heavily padded clothing. For most of the girls, says Snortland, it's the first time they've ever hit anyone with force.

Snortland says that girls in particular have a hard time drawing boundaries to unwanted touches because they are often shamed if they do not want to be hugged or touched. "Don't hurt Aunt Tillie's feelings!" they are often told. Boys, on the other hand, are given the permission to say no.

Even though the classes were inspired by the need for self-defense awareness for girls, the IMPACT Personal Safety classes are coed. "A natural gender-equality happens," explains Snorland. "Boys come in and are very cocky -- and [then] they soon see that girls are powerful, too."

Watch the video and tell us: Would you consider enrolling your daughter in one of these classes?

next: RNC in Hot Water Over $2,000 Visit to WeHo Bondage Club
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Stephanie March 30, 2010, 5:39 AM

If I had kids, I’d definitely enrol them in a class like this.
When I was 10 years old, my school offered a self defence class like that and me and all my girlfriends were enrolled in that. I really liked it and I’m glad it gave me the knowledge how to defend myself.

Anonymous Mom March 30, 2010, 7:00 AM

I took Women’s Self-Defense in college, but I would’ve loved to have had such an education sooner. My ex-husband is already teaching our 6-year-old daughter some techniques, and she has quite a punch already. Apparently he’s on to something!

The Well-Versed Mom March 30, 2010, 9:03 AM

I think it’s a great idea. My two daughters take TaeKwonDo and part of their training involves self-defense. I love that they have learned these skills and (I hope) wouldn’t be afraid to use them.

dom June 9, 2011, 9:03 PM

I totally agree with giving girls the tools for self defense.

I’m a 23 year old female and I have a black belt in TKD but I havent studied TKD in 10years. I can say that there’s a confidence in me that has come from my TKD background. Definitely contribute to having enough confidence in myself (to keep myself safe) to travel central america for 6 months solo and to join the peace corps. I’m actually help a fellow volunteer teach a self defense camp for girls in two weeks.

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