Self Defense For Children


Often I get messages from parents and guardians asking about sending their children to my regular self defense classes at Stout Training Pittsburgh / Cranberry. Sometimes when people think about the idea of “bully proofing” their child or have the desire to protect their loved ones a search for self defense classes and martial arts leads them to my information or they see these classes listed on the gym website and this triggers those correspondences.

This post is for them.

My regular classes are mature in nature. They include real discussions about real violence, assault, sexual assaults, weapons, kidnappings, and we may discuss current events or real examples of violence on real people. The subject matter is not focused on bullying at school or consensual affairs where two parties decide to get into an altercation in the lunch room or as they step off the bus.

There are very few minors in my class, but I have had a few. My rules for students under 18 is that the parent come to my class first and at least observe, and preferably participate in the class first. If they feel the child is mature enough for the subject matter I suggest strongly that they take the class along with their child in order to safely monitor the subject matter and be able to discuss it with the child as a parent.

Every child is different. I’ve had both extremely mature and responsible teenagers that I felt comfortable having in classes and grown “adults” I have had to ask to leave. If you are truly interested in having your loved ones learning what we do it is worth your time to see it for yourself and participate in order to make an informed decision.

It is my steadfast opinion that for young children or even teens not yet mature enough for my subject matter that they are best served by entering a Kids Jiu Jistu class as soon as possible.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) will teach your child about persistence, restraint, discipline, and work ethic. It will also allow them from an early age to learn how to deal emotionally with pressure, and physically how to fight back against someone trying to control their body or hold them to the ground. The practical application of that cannot be overstated. Offensively they will also be learning a fighting style that does not rely on strikes and allows you to control a larger and stronger opponent without needing to cause lasting harm to them.

Our  kids instructors are not only skilled fighters and instructors but they are genuinely good people who care deeply both for their students and for the art. I trust them without reservation and you will find many of our adult members send their children to our kids classes as soon as they are able. There can be no better endorsement in my opinion than when people that know you trust you with their children.

If you’d like to come out and observe one of my classes or have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me. If you want to put your child into a safe, practical, and fun martial art reach out to the school we’d love to help you.

Shawn Lupka


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