Bullying is a growing problem for children. For the child being bullied, it can destroy their self-confidence and self-esteem and negatively impact their view of the world. It can have negative consequences for the bully as well. Plus, bullies often have serious problems with self-control that need to be addressed. Practicing martial arts can help both the child being bullied and the bully to improve their quality of life and become more successful in their social, educational and professional lives.
Getting training in self-defense can help children develop confidence, discipline, self-control, respect and leadership skills. It can also provide stress relief.
Prevents The Problem
When children are enrolled in a self-defense program, they are a lot less likely to become bullies or be the victim of a bully. Proactive parents who don’t want their children to be involved in this destructive behavior can enroll them in self-defense classes as early as age 5. This allows the training to become a formative influence on their lives. Something with which they feel comfortable and can draw on and benefit from their entire life. The training will teach them techniques and create a mindset that will help to guide their actions as they grow and encounter new people, places and experiences.
Children often become bullies because making others fear them gives them confidence, status and prestige and helps them command the attention of others. Self-defense training helps children gain confidence, attention and approval in a more socially acceptable way. Bullies harass victims they see as easy targets. Children that appear weak, easily frightened and unsure of themselves. Children who take self-defense classes tend to be confident and project strength and courage. Plus, their training helps them repel attacks from bullies trying to victimize them.
Teaching And Reinforcing Discipline
Being raised in a home where the approach to discipline is inconsistent is often a contributing factor to a child becoming a bully. Self-defense training provides clear-cut, consistent structure about what type of behavior is acceptable. This helps children become disciplined. Children who become the victim of bullies often act in ways that give bullies the impression taunting and threatening them will be easy. Children who receive self-defense training learn to be disciplined in their actions. Bullies are less likely to provoke or challenge children that consistently display strong, disciplined behavior. If they do, the children will be able to defend themselves.
Bullies display a strong desire to control people and exert dominance over them. That reflects a lack of respect for others. Children who participate in self-defense training are taught the importance of treating everyone with respect. They are also taught mistreating people is wrong. Children that consistently receive this type of training are less likely to become bullies. Being bullied can shatter a child’s self-esteem and cause them to have a negative self-image and low self-esteem. Children trained in the art of self-defense learn to give others respect and demand it for themselves.
Bullies are usually impulsive, hot-headed and unable to control their emotions and behavior. Self-defense training teaches children to be aware of their thoughts and emotions and control their actions. This helps them resist the negative impulses to bully others. If children who are victims of bullies receive training in self-defense, they will be able to control what they say and do that triggers a bully’s negative behavior. Self-defense training teaches children to recognize words and actions that can agitate bullies and lead to conflict and violence and how to use self-control to avoid them.
Learning Leadership Skills
Although some bullies are physically strong or have strong personalities, they lack empathy. They pay no attention to the rights and feelings of others. Martial arts training can help children develop the ability to be empathetic. It can also teach them how to use their strong bodies and personalities to become effective leaders instead of developing anti-social personalities that can get them in trouble. Bullied children can also benefit from learning self-defense and leadership skills. It can help them to master techniques for connecting with others, making friends and working together towards common goals.
It is often stress, anger and frustration that make bullies unable to control their emotions and actions. This leads them to lash out at others and overreact to the slightest perceived provocation. Doing self-defense training gives children an opportunity to blow off steam through a socially acceptable outlet. This reduces the likelihood they will bully other children to ease their frustration. Bullied children often feel physically sick and have headaches, stomachaches, coughs stuffy noses and sore throats. High levels of stress can weaken the immune system and leave the children with physical ailments.
Learning self-defense techniques provides children with stress relief through vigorous physical activity. Plus, with the self-defense techniques they learn, they can stop bullies from taking advantage of them.
The Ability To Defend Themselves
A desire for power is often what drives bullies. Once they discover how good it feels to have some power, they begin to continually use aggressive behavior to subdue and control others. Enrolling those children in self-defense classes will teach them to use their strength and power to defend themselves and others. Knowing they can use their strength to defend the weak will give them a new sense of pride and empowerment. Their strength will get them gratitude, respect and love instead of fear. If children who are bullied take self-defense classes, their new confidence, knowledge, abilities and physical strength will make bullies think twice before they approach them.
Bullying is a serious problem. It can diminish the quality of life for millions of children. Some will fail to fulfill their potential because of fear and intimidation. The bullies can see their own lives diminished by getting criminal records and becoming social pariahs. Teaching both these groups of children martial arts can help them become disciplined, confident individuals able to protect themselves and others and make bullying a long forgotten chapter in their lives.