Teaching Self Defence to your Teenager

Bayo Ajibola

With the increase in the number of child predators, every parent needs to prepare their children to be able to defend themselves. Child predators mostly prey on teens and especially girls for their mischievous activities. Training your teen self-defence mechanisms prepares them to be self-defensive when the need arises.

Unlike popular belief, self-defense does not only involve martial art skills. It also involves mental preparedness in the case of an attack. This helps your teenager to think faster of ways to free them self from an attacker. In most cases, attackers become more aggravated when their victims put up a fight. The chances of a victim escaping their attacker lies in their action within the first few minutes.

The ultimate goal of self-defense is to free yourself by any means possible from your attackers. This can be achieved by being witty or being able to put up a fight. Most parents focus on teaching their teens how to fight back. While this is important, it may not always be the best idea. Sometimes, avoidance is the best defence.

Here are tips on how teenagers can avoid impending attack

  1. Trust your gut– Your sixth sense has a way of warning you in case something is wrong. If you are walking and suddenly feel like you are being followed or watched, it is better to trust your gut and get to safety before something happens. Ignoring this can turn out to be the worst of your life.
  2. Avoid dark alleys – This goes without saying. Nothing good happens in dark alleys. These alleys should be avoided at all cost. If it not possible to avoid such alleys, make sure you are in the company of others as you walk through the ally.
  3. Do not entertain strangers – Talking to a stranger is not bad if the context is helpful. However, entertaining a stranger longer than necessary opens doors for them to execute an attack on you if that was their motive all along. Only talk to strangers if they need your help and keep it as light as possible. This also applies to parents. Strangers may use them to gain access to their teenagers. Keep strangers at arm’s length and involve your local security if you are being targeted.
  4. Avoid secluded areas – Sometimes crowds provide a safe haven. It is impossible for an attacker to pick out your child from a crowd without anyone noticing. Teach your teenager to be in the company of a friend or two especially during late hours or in unfamiliar areas. If they are in their own company, they should make sure they are closer to other people and in public sight should anyone try to harm them in any way.


Child predators can cause untold pain to families. They mainly target teenagers and are very conniving. Some will pose as friends or acquaintances and it will be hard to read their intentions. All strangers should be treated as strangers and not entertained beyond casual. A teen with self-defense skills stands a better chance of protecting themselves. Even if you do anticipate any attack on your teens, equip them with self-defense skills and hope that they may never have to use them.


Bayo Ajibola

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