Archive for September, 2010

Under: Self-defense
5 Sep 2010

When I was in Junior High School I took an opportunity to take Chito Ryu karate lessons from a teacher’s assistant (TA). You see he had heard me and a few other students talking about how we wanted to learn karate. We (the students) found out that the TA had attained a brown belt in Okinawa while we was in the military. I think classes lasted about three months before he left but that was my first exposure to martial arts proper (if you don’t count books and movies)!

That first exposure to martial arts came in handy because I learned the basics of throwing kicks and punches as well as the importance of self-restraint and discipline. It was kind of funny but karate was not normally taught in school and would not have at my junior high unless the volunteer promised not to do any real sparring. You see wrestling and boxing were taught in physical education (PE) because they were generally accepted forms of fighting that were well understood by most males.

I was very happy to learn that California state senator, Christine Kehoe introduced Senate Bill 1290 to put self-defense training (of any type) into California school’s PE curriculum. Read the legislative analysis above to see details of the bill if Governor Schwarzenegger signs it into law:

SB 1290, as amended, Kehoe. Physical education: self-defense and safety instruction.


Existing law requires that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, except those excused or exempted pursuant to a prescribed provisions of law, attend physical education courses for a total period of time of not less than 400 minutes each 10 schooldays. Pursuant to its authority to issue program guidelines to serve as models or examples, the State Board of Education has adopted physical education model content standards for California public schools.


This bill would require the State Board of Education and the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission to include self-defense instruction, as defined, and safety instruction, as defined, in the next revision of the physical education framework for pupils in grades 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12.

In this post I will talk about the wisdom of teaching all children basic self defense moves and why doing this in junior high and high school is the perfect opportunity. My guess is you can already see my bias but I will try to frame this argument within the urgent need for our children to have an idea of how to keep safe in light of the rash of child abductions. Also I do not have a preference of the type of self defense as I think boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, jiu jitsu or mma could all give children an edge if accosted.

Take a look at this video with California state senator Kehoe being interviewed by Chrissy Russo (Fox 5 – San Diego) to set the stage for this discussion.



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