Bullying and martial arts in children
Childhood is a stage full of joviality, innocence and joy, although it also has its negative facets and one of these is bullying. Bullying in children usually occurs in school settings and in many cases it contains violence or physical, psychological and social aggression from one person or several to others.
Martial arts transform this phenomenon, since the victim through martial training first achieves self-confidence and enhances self-esteem, while learning defense techniques in order to minimize the blows and threats of his/her aggressor.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the physical, social and psychological abuse that a young person or child can receive from others. Generally, and in most cases, this happens in school settings.
Currently, bullying is one of the big problems that schools at a general level have to deal with and solve every day. In bullying there are two main actors, the bully and the victim. Usually, the bully takes advantage of some weaknesses that the victim may have to exploit him and cause him harm.
There is a false belief that bullying is only physical abuse. However, as we mentioned at the beginning, there are different ways of bullying that are classified within the social and psychological field. It ranges from teasing, insults, social exclusion and intimidation to threats. Even in recent years, there is a new way of bullying with communication and internet technologies. This is called cyber bullying and is mostly manifested through harassment, threats and insults on social networks, blogs, or any internet disclosure platform. Many countries have adapted their legal framework to respond to these cyber bullying attacks. So, victims can legally sue their perpetrators, obtaining justice. The practice of martial arts has a significant impact, since it can counteract the negative effects of social and psychological bullying.
Bullying and martial arts?
One of the first things that come to mind when we combine these two words is that the victim learns martial arts; and in a close encounter with his opponent he manages to defend himself properly, managing to neutralize his aggressor.
These facts are very common in different schools and educational organizations. Many martial arts movies recreate these scenarios. But, the real question is: How does this process happen and what happens after neutralizing your bully? We will explain it in these simple tips:
- The harassed child learns, over time, the different techniques of martial arts defense. BUT, he also learns self-control, discipline and obedience. So, this young victim does not become a bully, aggressor or a vengeful person before his bullies or other people. This happens in most cases.
- As we have already mentioned, bullying has several facets and it is not only physical aggression. In a scenario in which a child is not physically mistreated, but receives social or psychological bullying and then joins the practice of a martial art.
- This child will have low self-esteem and confidence. However, by constantly training, not only will acquire the learning of techniques, but also will access a new social group with guidance (trainer).
- • Here the child, through the support of his classmates and trainers, will be able to develop confidence and self-esteem that were previously minimized by bullying.
- With the constant practice of martial arts, not only access to millenary knowledge of defense and attack techniques is gained, but the boy or girl who practices martial arts enters a new social group. • In addition, the child is part of the martial arts club or school and this translates into social support, since he or she has the possibility of getting along very well with the other members of the club.
What happens to the bully or aggressor?
Starting from the point of view of the bully or aggressor, there are several cases or scenarios that may be present in this kind of people related to martial arts.
- The most typical scenario we have already touched several times is the defense of the victim and the blockage of aggression. Here, the aggressor will be in a state of shock as he was neutralized and will think several times before picking on his old victim.
- There is another case and it is very contrasting. This scenario occurs when the bully or aggressor learns martial arts. Perhaps you are thinking that it is a bad idea, since he can apply the movements for bad purposes. However, in most cases the opposite occurs. Generally, some unruly children, upon entering a martial discipline with a trainer’s guidance, set aside these bad practices. This happens because the child correctly assimilates the ethical guidelines of the martial arts philosophy. A clear example of this scenario applied in real life is the childhood of the great Bruce Lee. Bruce belonged to a small street gang in Hong Kong and decided to train Wing Chun under the influence of a friend. Then, he goes to the Ip man school, where he arrives at the first class with a lot of arrogance. This was noticed by Ip man and that’s why he decided to suspend him. Bruce arrived a day later regretfully and quite humbly. The master decided to forgive accept him in the martial art. From then on, Bruce’s attitude and energies were directed towards martial art and cinema.
In many cases, martial arts transform badly directed energy towards a right path, such as Bruce Lee. The practice of martial arts are, mostly, physical and social benefits for young people, boys and girls.
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