Daughters, College, and Self-Defense

A faithful We Sell Mats blog reader is getting ready to send her daughter off to college in a year. While the family is excited for her upcoming opportunities, there is some trepidation regarding safety, as always, when it comes to the idea of a young woman on a college campus. Mom and Dad want their little girl to be prepared for everything, so while they’re touring college campuses, they’re also checking out martial arts facilities where they can be sure their all-too-grown-up little girl can safely train in the art of self-defense. What do you look for in a martial arts class? According to the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, there are quite a few things to consider. The first, and perhaps the most important, is the philosophy motivating the class and the instructor. The best class, especially for women, will address defensive strategies and physical techniques, communication skills, and empowerment. Self-defense classes should offer students options, not tell them what to do, and a good class will offer many approaches and responses while helping to facilitate wise decisions in stressful circumstances.

Observing a self-defense class is ideal before choosing to enroll. If you are comfortable with the way the instructor communicates with the students, and if the instructor is respectful and understanding of your reasons for wanting the class, you’ve probably found a good match. The right instructor is 90% of the class.

So what’s the other 10%? We would say that it’s the facility. Training in self-defense needs to be done in a safe environment, both physically and psychologically. If you’re comfortable with the instructor, then your mind will be at peace. If the facility is equipped with safety features, your body can rest as well. A good martial arts facility will have thick foam padding to train on, since many students of self-defense will never have taken a martial arts class before. The extra cushioning makes the training a little easier, while at the same time, the foam mat’s stability provides a solid surface for feet and hands to grip. We Sell Mats has foam mats for martial arts facilities in two thicknesses and with different surfacing.

Find an instructor who gets you and a facility equipped to protect and train, and you’ll be on your way to a positive experience in martial arts, whether in self-defense or a more specialized practice. Peace of mind should accompany the next great adventure in life; taking steps now to make sure that adventure is as safe as possible for your college-bound kids will go miles to ensure their self-confidence and your sanity.