Why my 4 year old daughter chose self defence classes over ballet


Rachy has been insisting on going to “karate”. I don’t know where she got the idea from, but she dedicated every ounce of her 4 year old self into persuading her Daddy Dearest and I to consider it. Now, notice I said “persuading” and not “convincing” because her suppoting facts were surprisingly well thought out and consistent!

Among our colourful suggestions, Rachy mentioned that karate would made her big and strong – it is undeniably a fantastic source of exercise so can’t argue with that! And that it would help her to go to bed on time and remember to brush her teeth (that one was dripping in drama!)

She also mentioned (and this one gave me shivers) that karate would help her “stop others when they were playing the hitting game”. She did not say she wanted to hurt others, only that she wanted to be in a position to defend herself. This for me was paramount – why would a 4 year old need to defend herself? I mean I know kids will be kids, but a “hitting game”? Upon asking her teacher it dawned on me that bullies are a reality, yes even at this tender age! So began my quest to find a place that would upskill my baby, increase her confidence in terms of standing up to those “bigger” than her and do it in a way that promoted defence as opposed to fighting.

I researched a few options but one caught my eye because of its principals – SHUGYO-FIT. Nestled in the leafy suburg of Blairgowrie, the premises is both convenient and pleasing to the eye. Jacques Wagner (instructor/child whisperer) was great from the very beginning and truly amazing with the kids.

Their tagline of “Mindful Martial Art Classes For Kids” intruigued me and so I researched a bit after chatting to him.

“[MINDFUL MARTIAL ARTS CLASSES FOR KIDS] Kids are under a lot of pressure in this day and age. Helping them navigate the chaos of life is difficult. One way to help them succeed is through equipping them with tools that will help them be more resilient to life’s challenges.

Not only do we teach kids in our classes how to defend themselves (the typical reason for training martial arts), but we equally coach them in inner management tools – grounded in solid scientific research – so they can take on the martial arts of everyday life and win!”


Jacques truly delivered on the day and Rachy was truly in her element. Jacques somehow created an environment where pushing themselves to do more, and do it better, was almost natural. I could not believe that she did not say “no” or come running to me – not once! And she pushed her little body to its max!


She ran faster, picked the heaviest ball and ran acoss the room with it and her cheeks flushed with the sense of achievement! Rach was also the youngest in her class and the only girl (everyone else is still on vacation) which made it even more awesome to witness. Another plus is that the classes in general are small and intimate.


After her trial lesson, which lasted 45min, Rachel was sold and so was I. It’s hard to explain what it feels like watching my 4 year old princess actively defending herself from her “mock attacker”, tossing her male partner over her shoulder and making sure he was fine as he landed! Her confidence grew 10-fold.


Visit their site, and contact SHUGYO-FIT for your free trial today! They also offer kids yoga as well as adult self defense classes and yoga too!

Here’s to more Kung-Fu Rachy memories….



6 thoughts on “Why my 4 year old daughter chose self defence classes over ballet

  1. Fantastic, both my girls now 10 & 11 started ju jitsu at ages 4 and 5 and their confidence as young people has grown as has their skills. i am a massive supporter on children going into martial arts at a young age for the right reasons. Re bullying of course its always been there and always will but as a parent it gives us piece of mind that and especially for me with two girls that they have a better chance of getting out of trouble if the situation ever (hopefully never) came up


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