I had wanted to get S into something like this. In part, I'm an overprotective Daddy and I want my daughter to be able to protect herself if she needs to. From my own experiences in Tae Kwon Do, I know it will be good for her balance and coordination. The class also talks about things like bullying and home safety, which I like. So it seemed like a good idea.
It was a great idea. I love this program. In the first class, they had everyone chant, "I will mess up!" Two minutes later, the black-belt teaching the class stumbled over his instructions. He just grinned and said, "See? I told you I was going to mess up." It makes for the most relaxed environment I've ever seen in a martial arts setting.
On the very first night, they invited me to work out with the class. I passed, but appreciated the invite. They asked the next time, and again on the third. I didn't feel pressured; they just wanted me to know I was welcome. So I asked S what she thought, and she wanted me to join in. (Sneaky dad that I am, I figured this would also let her teach me at home when we practice, which would be fun.) So I'm now the newest white belt, and have participated in two classes.
I'm having a lot of fun. It's great being able to do something with S, and how can you not like a style where the "ready stance" involves knees bent, feet in, fists ready, and smile! One hour a week isn't much in the way of exercise, but it's a step up from what I had been getting. Curse the sedentary writing lifestyle! I'm also struggling to retrain 20-year-old habits. (Sachin-Ryu kicks are lower than what I learned, the fists are held differently, etc.)
On a more serious note, I'm very glad S is in the class and likely to continue. When I was doing rape advocacy and education, I had conflicted feelings about the self-defense for women thing. Understand, I don't think self-defense is a bad thing at all. What bugged me was the way they were presented as The Solution. Like, if we teach women to protect themselves, that will take care of that whole rape business. Every newspaper article about rape on campus would talk about what women should do, and never said a word about the guys. Because even though the vast majority of rapists are men, it should be women's responsibility to fix the problem, right?
That said, I want my daughter to have every tool she can to protect herself. I want her to be confident enough that predators will hesitate to mess with her, and if they do, I want her to be able to put a fist through the bastard's solar plexus.
I think these classes could help on both counts. Once per week isn't a lot, but we can look into other options eventually. I'm pretty sure there are more regular classes. Best of all, it's something the two of us can do together, and I'm really enjoying that.