State committee votes to require self defense in schools
In response to the murders of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King, the California State Legislature is pushing forward with a bill to mandate self defense training in public schools.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Christine Kehoe (San Diego), has cleared a committee on its way to a Senate vote. It will require students in middle school through high school to participate in self defense training as part of the regular education curriculum.
The training will include awareness, prevention and physical self defense techniques.
That means that every student in California public schools will receive well-rounded self defense training on a yearly basis.
The significance of this legislation cannot be understated. It’s not that the state may require self defense. It’s that the bill requires students to take it annually, six years in a row.
Although one self defense class is better than nothing, self defense is a physical activity that benefits from practice. The more you practice, the better you will perform under the emotional and physical stress of an attack.
There’s an old saying in martial arts schools: “You will not rise to the occasion. You will fall to the level of your training.”
Annual training will ensure that students have at least a basic understanding of how to avoid an attack and how to defend themselves if avoidance doesn’t work. The only thing better would be the regular training associated with joining a martial arts school, and that’s clearly not within the purview of government.
California’s bold move sets a high standard that other states should live up to.
If you’d like more information about the California bill to take to your local representative, here’s the contact information for Sen. Kehoe’s office:
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 327-2188
San Diego Office
2445 Fifth Ave., Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 645-3133
Fax: (619) 645-3144