How bad of a thing is it, and can martial arts prevent bullying? Well, According to the National Education Association , it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. It also states that 1 in 7 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying. Bullying is one of the most difficult and prevailing issues these days. Issues that students, parents and educators are dealing with on a daily basis both in and out of school. Martial Arts is one avenue that has been proven time and time again to be effective in curbing bullying activity. Both for the one being bullied and the one doing the bullying.
Bullying victims and low self-esteem?
Absolutely! Bullies almost always pick victims that they think will be easy targets. What makes someone an easy target? It is a child who seems fragile, unsure of his or herself, or one who scares easily. Being bullied can often shatter a child’s self-esteem and lead to a low self-image, low self-confidence and loss of self-worth. In fact, that’s one of the warning signs of bullying.
Martial arts prevent bullying by building up children’s confidence
This way kids are able to project an air of strength and ensure that they are not perceived as easy targets. Training in Martial Arts prevent bullying by showing these children their worth and building their self-esteem and confidence. It teaches them that if they want others to respect them, they first must learn to respect themselves. It can give them the tools and the confidence they need to stop them from feeling like victims and realizing that they are indeed victors. With that discipline and confidence they will begin to not only respect others but to demand respect for his or herself as well.
If my child isn’t the victim but the bully, can martial arts prevent bullying?
Bullies often enjoy status and prestige because others fear them. They command a lot of attention for their behavior. Bullies have a need to be in control and exercise their authority and dominance over others. Children who bully others can be impulsive, quick to anger, and dominant. Studies have shown that bullies lack empathy. No empathy means people ignore the rights and feelings of those around them. Bullies more often than not lack the ability to regulate emotions. Often, they simply don’t have a way to control their anger and frustrations, which may result in severe overreactions to small aggravations.
Martial Arts prevent bullying by building up these children’s confidence in other arenas. This way they won’t need to resort to bullying for attention or approval. It offers clear-cut and consistent discipline that helps them learn which types of behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. Martial Arts teach these children that everyone deserves respect, and that no one deserves to be mistreated. It allows them to be aware of their own thoughts and emotions. It trains them to control their impulses that could lead to bullying behavior.
Martial arts can literally benefit all children regardless of their strengths, weaknesses, flaws or successes
Its benefits include confidence, discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, defense, and more. Whether your child is bullying, being bullied, or not it will increase their confidence through verbal and physical skills designed to combat bullying.
It goes far deeper than just karate chops and fierce yelling. Powerful mental skills are instilled in the kids. The training teaching them how to react to different bullying situations and how to avoid possible confrontations before they get physical. Martial arts is always taught as a defense and not an offense.
Every child deserves a chance in this life. A chance to walk with his head held high. A chance to feel good about the person he/she is. A chance to know what it feels like to give and get respect. A chance to go to school without being in fear or instilling fear in others.
The bullied and the bullies are all still children. They all deserve a chance. We have the opportunity to change the course of their future through prevention, training, discipline, and hope. Martial Arts is about far more than just self-defense. It is about setting our children up for a successful future.