Bullying and its effects Martial Arts will help
Bullying is a terrible experience for any kid, and just about every kid at some point will encounter it in some form. And indeed as adults they certainly will. It’s simply a fact of life.
But adults are more adapted to dealing with it in some way that prevents the danger that might affect a child more readily. That’s because kids are particularly vulnerable both physically and emotionally. Kids are impressionable and the things that happen to them then, often remain with them for a lifetime and can indeed cause or lead to negative, self damaging behaviors.
Consider a child that has been bullied repeatedly and failed to deal with it in a realistic and defensive manner. That kid will come to see themselves as a victim, and they’ll think and live as a victim. And one of the most damaging results of that is that they’ll see their self worth is based on what others think of them, mainly bullies. They’ll come to see themselves as possessing little self worth and so they’ll leave themselves vulnerable to other self damaging and negative behaviors and influences.
And these can lead to severe issues the longer they persist in that child’s life.
They can easily fall prey to abusive relationships, and the damage that that can cause.
And all of this will happen if they do not find a way out of that spiral of negativity. All of this will happen if they don’t develop a means or way of confronting bullying and overcoming it.
The problem here is that bullying is a behavior that is learned as well. A child that isn’t taught restraint, discipline, respect of others, and empathy will come to see others as prey, as a thing that is vulnerable to their force, and they’ll use that force to take what they want and terrorize others into submission.
We see it with toddlers, where two are playing and one wants a toy the other has and they simply take it causing the other to cry. And the usual response from parents is to stop that behavior immediately and check it, and teach the child to share, and to teach them empathy.
This generally occurs when a child smacks another and causes them to cry, then a good parent will swat them and cause them to cry, and they’ll understand the hurt they caused.
But when this doesn’t happen enough, a kid will start to develop the traits of a bully.
And they’ll prey on other kids until confronted, and forced to stop. That’s because they’ve developed themselves into a state in which the only thing they respect is fear and power.
The only thing that makes them stop being a bully, is get their butt whipped on the playground b a tougher kid who isn’t going to take it.
The result is a swift and sure one. The bully is given a back eye, or knocked to the ground and they are left with the sudden knowledge that they have no more power. The strength that they relied on isn’t effective anymore. And they don’t have anything else to fall back on because they never developed it. In the best of circumstances the person that knocked them down helps them up, and expresses empathy, and the bully then begins the process of feeling empathy.
And their ways begin to change. And generally those two kids become fast friends.
So what is at play here are behaviors that are developed or are allowed to develop, either positive or negative. So if we understand that, we understand that those behaviors, both the bully and the victim can be modified and changed under the right influences.
The martial arts is one such influence that prevents either bullies from developing, or victims.
The martial arts teaches kids to express and feel empathy for others, to treat others respectfully and to treat themselves respectfully. It teaches them discipline, and humility because they enter the martial arts as a white belt, a beginner, under the tutelage of the instructor, usually a black belt. And the instructor will not tolerate bullying behavior. Furthermore the instructor will teach those kids the value of community and friendship, loyalty and teamwork.
They’ll create an environment where the kids will learn to develop themselves in a positive and controlled place. They’ll learn the positive life affirming values we want them to learn. And they’ll learn to protect themselves from others who might try to take that away from them.
There are no victims in a martial arts school. There are only fighters.
And those young fighters will grow into adults fully capable of protecting themselves and others around them, and bullies will find victims to be few on the ground in such company.
But we want to give our kids every advantage in developing the right characteristics and values. And the martial arts is the perfect vehicle for doing that. The martial arts teaches all the values we want for our kids, and it teaches them to guard themselves against negative ones, to recognize them and avoid them. It teaches them to respect themselves and resist negativity in their life, and to want to seek out quality of life.
It also provides a place where they can meet not only other kids, but adults, and even the elderly who can share their wisdom, and life experience, and offer that to our kids.
The martial arts can provide for our kids a strong, confident, and brilliant future full of possibility.
And if you aren’t sure of it yourself, just come down to a school and sit in on a class.
You won’t be disappointed.
Article reposted with permission from Go2Karate.com.