Martial Arts Anti Bullying

April 4, 2012
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Martial arts anti bullying

School bully - Illustration from Flickr.com

As soon as you begin mentioning the subject of martial arts anti bullying, you will likely get one out of two very distinct and totally opposite reactions.

One is the “right on, I know for sure that to stand up for yourself works” type of reaction.

The other is from a group of individuals – typically school educators – who say that fighting back will always be wrong, no matter what.

And as you can surely figure out in a heartbeat, I don’t exactly see myself belonging to this “why can’t we all be friends and just talk about it” league…

First and foremost, as someone having taught martial arts to kids for thirty years I know that martial arts training can provide a child with tools to combat school bullying. And secondly – and way more important – who says that these tools necessarily is about fighting back with physical means?

Martial arts anti bullying

At only 25 years old, Troy resident Jesse Crawfis has opened his own martial arts studio and was inducted into the Budo Magazine Martial Arts Hall of Fame in New York City.
With 30 percent of U.S. students grade six through 10 involved in bullying, Crawfis said he knows how important it is to teach today’s youth respect, discipline, focus and confidence.
Self-confident children who know how to defend themselves are less likely to be bullied, according to the American Taekwondo Association.

You can click here to read the rest of this article about anti bullying and martial arts.

As stated, martial arts techniques taught to children is in sum much more about providing self-confidence to stand up for yourself than learning how to fight.

Bully proof?

Will this indicate that you child becomes “bully-proof” by taking up a martial art? Of course not, claiming anything like that would be totally unrealistic and absolutely wrong.

It has helped a lot of youngsters to stand up to their tormentors. However, there have also been cases where this type of training haven’t worked. I can recall at least one tragic case where a young boy – trained in martial arts – ended his own life after being bullied.

Cyber bullying

Also, we have to remember that a bully isn’t always coming at you face to face. It is much harder to stand up to attacks and rumors spread by social media and text messaging.

Best suited arts?

This is something I will discuss further in a separate article. In my opinion, these are not the pure kicking and punching arts like karate and taekwondo.

Martial arts and bullying video

Here’s Rener Gracie offering some excellent pieces of advice about fighting off a bully, about confidence and the ability to walk strong.

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What’s your experience with martial arts anti bullying measures? Do you think they will work, and have you any piece of advice to offer? As always, the comment field is below.

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