My Thoughts on Bullying
As a Martial Arts Instructor I teach kids how to get away safely if a bully is putting their hands on them. But the time we spend talking about the hands-on bullying doesn’t adequately cover the spectrum of “Bullying”. So I started doing some research and found that bullying is very wide-spread and highly prevalent in our society. I was shocked at the diversity of bullying in our society and culture.
Let’s start with clearly defining what bullying is. According to www.wikipedia.com :
“Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.”
After doing more reading on Wikipedia and other sites I realized that bullying is a VERY broad subject and not limited to kids picking on kids at school. Since our role at Championship Martial Arts is to teach self-defense in a school environment, we’ll stick to the subcategory of bullying at school.
According to www.stopbullying.gov the majority of bullying is not physical bullying, but verbal or psychological bullying. Bullying includes, but is not limited to:
- name calling
- making fun of
- exclusion from activities
- spreading false rumors
- trying to embarrass in public
Narrowing my focus to the non-physical bullying, here is a compilation of a ways we can effectively deal with abusive behavior.
- STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!! If someone is being unkind to you, tell them so. Make sure they know that their actions or words are unkind, hurtful and unwanted. However, do not let your expression evolve into a physical confrontation. If needed, find an adult you trust and let them know about the other persons’ behavior.
- FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF!! If someone is trying to intimidate you or make you upset by saying hurtful things about you, your hair style, clothes, skin tone, the way you walk or talk, don’t listen. At the end of the day, YOUR opinion is the only one that matters. As long as YOU like your hair style, smile, walk and talk it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. You shouldn’t change the clothes you wear, or hair style to suit someone else… BE YOU!
- WALK AWAY!! If someone is saying hurtful things, or is trying to intimidate you or make fun of you and you can’t seem to find the right way to ask them to stop, JUST WALK AWAY. Don’t try to fight them or compete with them by saying hurtful things back, simply walk away and look for an adult you trust to talk to.
- FIND A BUDDY/BE A BUDDY!! If the bully comes at you at the same time, in the same place on a consistent basis, FIND SOMEONE TO WALK WITH YOU so hat way the bully doesn’t have a opportunity to approach you alone. Also, if you know someone is being bullied, WALK WITH THEM to detract from the bully’s willingness to approach.
- DON’T BE A SPECTATOR!! If you see someone being bullied, get involved! Speak up for the person that’s being bullied. Let the aggressor know that their actions and words are unwanted and unacceptable. Also, report the behavior to a trusted adult.
- LAUGH IT OFF!! If someone is trying to make hurtful comments, don’t let them succeed! The bully’s goal is to intimidate you, or make you upset. If you laugh at their comments or make a joke about it, they’ll realize that their attempt to intimidate you have failed and will most likely leave you alone.
There are many other ways you can deal with bullies besides what I’ve listed here. You can talk to a trusted adult about what you’re experiencing. The internet is LOADED with information on bullying.
Here are a few helpful links for kids experiencing bullying.
And of course you can always TAKE KARATE CLASSES!!!
Taking karate helps develop self confidence by empowering us with the tools we need to deal with bullies.
According to www.wikihow.com:
“Karate will boost your confidence, prime your physique and enable you to gain combat or defensive skills. Bullies like to prey on those they perceive as being weaker than them, so developing a battle aura can help deter them. Martial arts skills will also help you learn how not to appear to be an easy target. “
-Championship Martial Arts