Bullying and Martial Arts
Martial Arts can help prevent bullying by helping children on both sides of the equation. The Dojo provides a safe environment for all children and teaches them discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, self-defense and most importantly Confidence and self-worth. Children from all walks of life from every background are taught to work together, respect each other, train and help support through grading creating bonds and friendships.
One of the most important ways to combat bullying is to install confidence in children. Bullies often project their own flaws on others. They crave attention and get it by acting out. By building their confidence these flaws often become less of an issue and the child pays more attention to what they can do. By honing in on their good points and giving approval for good behaviour they will learn there are better ways to get attention. Children who lack confidence also are usually victims of bullying as they are easy targets. Martial Arts build their self-confidence and strength replacing their weak, unsure, afraid demeanour with an aura of self-assurance so they are not seen as targets.
Body language, posture and Communication skills are extremely important to children. Martial Arts stances exude confidence, many pyschological books advise taking a power stance for a quick boost in confidence. Martial Arts also promotes breathing techniques, calm breathing will equal a calm composure. This will help a child deal with whatever it may face with a calm, clear confident tone helping deflect any immediate threat.
Martial Arts main lessons are Respect, Discipline and self-control . This gives children a clear cut and consistent structure of discipline, teaching them which kind of behaviours are acceptable and which are not. Helping both bullies and victims to adapt and manage their behaviour to not provoke or react. Bullies usually have a strong need to exert dominance over others and be in control. Martial Arts teaches that everyone deserves respect and no one should be mistreated. It teaches victims that they must respect themselves first. Children are taught to be aware of their own thoughts, emotions and to control negative impulses. It also trains victims to control behaviours that may trigger a bully.
Defense is more important than teaching how to fight, Martial Arts teaches students how to defend themselves against attackers. Children get to act out different bullying scenarios and learn how to deal with it, if it ever were to happen. When practiced enough the student will recall and then instinctively respond if they find themselves in a difficult situation. Martial Arts does not promote the use of violence so instead the child will be able to defend themselves both safely and efficiently giving them self-assurance and confidence.
Many children suffer from stress and this goes unnoticed. Martial Arts gives an outlet for children to let off steam and relieve stress in a save supportive environment. This makes it less likely that they will feel the need to take out their frustrations on other people. Alternatively children who are bullied suffer from high levels of stress they manifest sometimes physically, the exercise will create an outlet and boost the immune system.
By all children being involved in each class and treated as equals they learn to build bonds and make friends so they understand each other and don’t feel alone, frightened and vulnerable. They learn social skills and by grading, learning, leading and teaching each other they learn empathy and understand how others feel. This teaches that they are all the same and they are not alone.