Now more than ever, bullies are a concern for parents. This is because not only can bullies be lurking in the schoolyards and playgrounds, but now bullies can reach your children via the internet from anywhere else. There’s no way to completely insulate a child from this behaviour, at least not any way that would be helpful, healthy or beneficial. More important than trying to completely shield your kids from such people and events is to actively participate in bully proofing them.
There are many ways that kids can fend off bullies. It’s important first to understand the viewpoint of the bully so that you know where they are coming from and therefore what the best way to act is. Bullies lash out for many reasons. They may see somebody as weak, or different, and decide to pick on them. A bully may pick on somebody who he or she just doesn’t like, or even fears or is jealous of. Bullies could also just be overly aggressive and playing off their larger size or their reputation.
One strategy to bully-proof your child is to alert them that they should never start a fight, but they shouldn’t go running at the first sign of one either. This further indicates to a bully that the person they chose to harass is weak and is an easy or fun target. Rather, your child needs to learn confidence and self defence if it comes to that point.
This is where the martial arts come into play. A key concept of training in martial arts is to use what you learn for self defence only. This means that in teaching a child these techniques they don’t become more dangerous, but rather they learn to protect themselves.
If a situation arises when they need to use what they learned, they will be well prepared to handle it. Additionally, knowing they have that training will boost their confidence and the image they have of themselves. This will make them appear to a bully as a threat they do not want to chance. This increased self-assuredness can also help your child diffuse many situations as well as to garner support and respect.
The great thing about martial arts is that it’s really not about size or strength. It’s about skill, speed, timing, momentum and intelligence. This means that even the smallest kid in his class will be able to stick up for himself and earn the respect of others with adequate martial arts training.
The fact of the situation is that you can’t completely bully-proof a child. Even as adults we come across bullies in our places of business and in our day-to-day life. The best solution is to have your child be prepared. Training in the martial arts will teach the physical skills to defend oneself, as well as the mental skills needed to avoid confrontation and diffuse tough situations. It’s the best form of bully proofing you could ever give to your child.
For children we recommend our Mini Dragons class and for Teens we have a lot of recommendations: boxing, Muay Thai, savate, Brazilian jiu jitsu, jun fan jeet kune do and the mixed martial arts class. Help prevent bullying! Jd