Children start to encounter aggression from other children of a physical nature from around 5 years old. These encounters are fairly insignificant initially, but increase in significance as children get older and stronger.
Department of Education figures from 2011 showed an average of 13 permanent exclusions per day, prompting an average of 878 children taken out of class each day for abuse or assault on fellow pupils or teachers.
Of course, violence is not a solution, but the question remains; should our children be learning how to defend themselves from a violent attack? One consideration is the amount of physical injury sustained by the victim of an attack, and whether these injuries could be prevented or minimised if the victim would have been able to defend themselves effectively.
A survey by BeatBullying identified some of the effects of child-on-child violence to include eating disorders, self harm, truancy, depression, and the use of violence against other children. The survey further identified the most common location for assault as being school, with over 50% of those surveyed had only experienced a single occurrence of physical violence, the effect of even a single attack .
As a parent I believe the risk of being negatively affected both short and long term is too high a price to pay for being the victim of a violent attack. I have witnessed some appalling injuries which could have been prevented, without causing much harm to the attacker in self defence. Parents can make their own decisions as to how their child should deal with a potential attack, however, learning an effective martial art as a self defence is a real option.