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Video: Can a young girl pack a punch in self defense?

April 6, 2010

There’s a lot of silly debate on the Internet about whether children should learn how to defend themselves, especially females.

The loudest opinions (not, as we shall see, the smartest) conclude by saying that children cannot defend themselves against adults. Those who hold this view reason that a youngster could not beat an adult in a fight, so it’s no use teaching them self defense techniques.

The problem with the argument is that self defense is not fighting.

The Difference Between Self Defense and Fighting
When we say “fight,” we usually mean two people squaring off to win a fighting contest, such as a boxing match or a martial arts tournament fight. Both fighters usually wear specialized gear to protect themselves and their opponent. Both fighters agree to fight by the rules of the governing sport, and both agree to fight for the pre-determined duration of the contest.

Under this scenario, no normal child can beat a normal adult. The difference in size, strength and physical sophistication are insurmountable odds for the child.

Self defense, however, is not “fighting.” This is where the argument against children learning self defense falls apart. Consider the following three points:

  1. Self defense is about getting away, not fighting. The only goal is to break the attacker’s grip and run like mad.
  2. In self defense, there are no rules. Most fighting sports have rules to protect the fighters, such as no kicks to the groin. Anything is legal (almost anything) in self defense.
  3. In self defense, there is no protective equipment. A punch to the nose with a bare fist or palm heel packs more pain than a fist wrapped in a glove.

With those three things in mind, we have to ask ourselves, can a young girl learn a few techniques to break someone’s grip long enough break free and run?

This blog is full of stories of young girls (and old women) who have done just that. Without training. Now maybe they were lucky. But if they can do it without training, would you not agree that training would make their chances of getting away even better?

The video below shows a 13-year-old girl punching a heavy bag. If I had to guess, I’d say she’s been training in boxing for at least two years.

She has also just entered an age group that is often the target of kidnappings and sexual assaults. Watch the video and tell me: If your daughter was attacked by a predator, would you not want her to have the skills of this young girl?

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