Anti - Bullying Program
It is a sad fact that children must face this daily. But in the end, it is not just children, but many adults must deal with the bullies as well. Here at Milton Bushido-Ryu we take this very seriously. We have created and will continue to expand our Anti-Bullying Initiative to help not just the children but everyone in our community.
Bullying: The Reality
Bullying is a staggering problem in the U.S., where nearly 50% of children report experiencing it at least once throughout their student years. Despite of this sobering number, there are no federally mandated anti-bullying classes, nor mandatory school staff training to combat this serious epidemic. The long-lasting effects of bullying on children are not fully understood either.
The good news is more and more schools recognize the need for radical changes, to implement educational anti bullying classes, and initiate a deeper, more appropriate conversation between the institutions and the parents to find new, working methods to make school a more welcoming, positive experience for all children.
Yet the problem persists, and it is likely to cause a few difficult moments to many parents across the nation, leaving them wondering whether they could do something more, preparing their children better, or help them to develop various coping mechanisms that could not only aid them against bullying, but give them important life skills for decades to come.
Martial Arts: Your best bet against bullying
You may be surprised, yet it is true: children who participate in martial arts fare much better in school and life in general. It is important to stress, however, that these classes do not teach, nor encourage the use of violence under any circumstances, and this also means that bullied children are trained to use self-defense only as an absolute last resort to stop bullying, in case of physical attack. While it is a crucial life skill to have, physical force can never be the proper solution to schoolyard conflicts.
Luckily there are other, greater benefits: instead of teaching how to stop bullying, they focus on training your child to learn valuable personal skills. The following list includes the most outstanding advantages your child could experience because of taking these extracurricular classes.
These classes teach excellent socialization skills: from the first moment to the last, they promote interacting in an equally polite and respectful way with teachers and other students. Being able to implement these newly acquired interpersonal skills in a school setting, your child may not only be able to completely avoid being hurt but may become a positive example to others about using positive communication skills to stop bullying.
It is extremely important for your child to learn that while conflicts are usually an inevitable part of life, violence and harming others are not. Under no circumstances it is acceptable to hurt others, physically or otherwise. These classes teach children to be more resilient, to be able to take the hardships of life without reacting in negative and improper ways, to not to worry so much about the effects of bullying, rather, conduct themselves in ways that help to avoid or solve conflicts, instead of allowing them to escalate any further.
A slightly different skill from discipline, focus helps a child to remain in the moment, pay attention to their breathing, slow down, and treat the next course of action as their primary responsibility. By helping them to not to be scattered, these classes are known to help children to improve their academic skills and grades as well, creating well-rounded individuals who are capable to respond to the various, ongoing challenges and requirements of school and life in a healthy and balanced way.
An important skill these classes usually focus on building is the art of learning to be patient. In our modern world even children are conditioned to expect immediate results and instant gratification, yet the most successful ones in school and life are indeed the ones who learn to relax, not push too hard, and be able to just wait for the good things to show up that they have worked so hard for. Assuming this attitude may become your child’s best bet during difficult times with peers.
Enrolling in a martial arts program is one of the best actions a person can take to prevent bullying. Why? Because martial arts can help children on both sides of the bullying equation.
By providing benefits such as confidence, discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, and self-defense; martial arts help both the children who are being bullied, and the children who are bullying others. Here’s how:
Building Up Confidence Can Stop Bullying
For Bullies: Bullies often enjoy status and prestige because others fear them. They also command a lot of attention for their behavior. Martial arts help prevent bullying by building up these children’s confidence in other arenas, so that they won’t need to resort to bullying for attention or approval.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: Bullies pick victims that they think will be easy targets. What makes an easy target? A child who seems weak, unsure of herself, or easily scared. Martial arts help stop bullying by building up children’s confidence so that they are able to project an aura of strength and ensure that they are not perceived as easy targets.
Reinforcing Discipline Can Prevent Bullying
For Bullies: “why do people bully others?” — one of the factors that contributes to bullying behavior is an inconsistent approach to discipline at home. Martial arts help prevent bullying by providing children with a clear-cut and consistent structure of discipline that helps them learn which types of behavior are acceptable and which are not.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: Victims of bullying can sometimes make things worse for themselves by acting in ways that make it easy for others to taunt or threaten them. Martial arts help stop bullying by teaching these children the discipline to manage their own behavior in such a way that it does not in any provoke or trigger a bully.
Increasing Respect Can Stop Bullying
For Bullies: Bullies have a strong need to be in control and exert their dominance over others. That’s one of the reasons why they bully others. Martial arts help prevent bullying by showing these children that everyone deserves respect, and that no one deserves to be mistreated.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: Being bullied can often shatter a child’s self-esteem and lead to a low self-image and loss of self-worth. In fact, that’s one of the warning signs of bullying. Martial arts help stop bullying by showing these children that if they want others to respect them, they first must learn to respect themselves.
Mastering Self-Control Can Prevent Bullying
For Bullies: Children who bully others can be impulsive, hot-headed, and dominant. Martial arts help prevent bullying by helping these kids become more aware of their own thoughts and emotions, training them to control negative impulses that could lead to bullying behaviors.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: Victims of bullying often are not adept at recognizing what kind of behavior triggers a bully to lash out. Martial arts help stop bullying by empowering these children to control their own behaviors in such a way that will stop a negative situation from spiraling into conflict or violence.
Developing Leadership Skills Can Stop Bullying
For Bullies: Studies have shown that bullies lack empathy and have also found that bullies can be more likely to develop anti-social personality disorder. This is a condition that causes people to ignore the rights and feelings of those around them. Martial arts help prevent bullying by developing the capacity for empathy in these children.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: Bullies often target kids who are less popular. So, if your child has few friends, this social isolation could put him at higher risk of being bullied. Martial arts help stop bullying by training these children to be more sociable and helping them make friends more easily.
Relieving Stress Can Prevent Bullying
For Bullies: Bullies lack the ability to self-regulate emotions. Often, they simply don’t have a way to control their anger and frustration, which may result in severe overreactions to small provocations. Martial arts help prevent bullying by giving them an outlet to blow off some steam. This makes it much less likely for them to take their frustration out on other kids.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: One of the effects of bullying is that bullied kids often report symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, stuffy nose, headaches, and stomachaches. These kids are far more likely than others to report feeling physically sick because they deal with such high levels of stress that it wears down their immune system. Martial arts help stop bullying by providing a way for these children to relieve stress through vigorous physical exercise.
Learning Self Defense Can Stop Bullying
For Bullies: Children who bully others are often driven by the desire for power. They discover how effective it can be to use their power in an aggressive way to control and subdue others. Martial arts classes help prevent bullying by constantly emphasizing the importance of using karate for self-defense only, never for offense.
For Kids Who Are Bullied: As we mentioned above, bullies pick victims that they think will be easy targets. Martial arts classes help stop bullying by teaching children how to defend themselves. Once they are armed with this knowledge, they will naturally project a much more confident image and thus, not come across as an easy target for bullies.
This all stands true for adults as well
Many adults suffer from the lack of self confidence that comes from a result of being bullied either at the workplace or from previous experience when they were younger. Martial Arts can help restore that confidence.