After reading the original article “Ten Anti-Bullying Tips” about strategies relating to anti-bullying I wanted to give some tactical feedback on how training in martial arts can help. Being able to defend yourself has benefits far beyond the capability to do violence; it builds self-esteem, situational awareness and courage. Columbia Martial Arts does not espouse training simply for the sake of attacking a bully, this will not solve the problem of bullying. VIolence begets violence and someone you have attacked is likely to come back and try to attack you. Following the structure of the original article I will explain how martial arts training will reinforce the points brought up by Surf Net Parents.
1. Learn to look or act indifferent – Inner toughness is a key characteristic in training martial arts. Even though training is friendly and safe, it is still physical and challenging. Each class you will be pushed close to your limits. When you feel like quitting you will need to hold on for just ten more seconds. You never want to show your opponent that you are hurt, afraid, tired or injured. Keeping a poker face from physical and emotional pain is a strong psychological tool you learn quickly when training any martial art.
2. Ignore the bully if you can – Diffusing violent situations is a primary theme in martial arts. While you might know how to fight, you also know that fights are dangerous and there is always the chance to hurt yourself and others. A martial artist walks away without getting their ego involved. You will learn to diffuse the situation if you can, evade when possible and only attack defensively to evade if necessary.
“You know you can defend yourself, you know how to keep your poker face and you know that you are strong.”
3. Stand up to them – Self-esteem is built through achieving your goals. As you build your skill you achieve new belt levels and stripes and confidently handling situations in the dojo will give you confidence. You know you can defend yourself, you know how to keep your poker face and you know that you are strong. If a bully tries to call you a name, it now makes no difference, you can walk away knowing that you are capable of defending yourself and have nothing to prove.
4. Be brave – It takes courage to face an opponent in the ring, it takes courage to put yourself in harms way to train. It builds courage to face all sorts of opponents in the dojo. You know you have faced different sizes and skills and have been able to win, so you know you can jump into any day to day situation without trouble. Facing a bully for yourself or standing up for a friend you will be aware, clear and focused but you won’t be afraid.
5. Build self-esteem – Martial arts especially at CMA is a positive and safe environment. We are all training to learn and build our human potential. Martial arts is a lifestyle and being a warrior means you don’t take pride in hurting anyone but you are able to defend yourself and others. Comradery, competition and discipline will push you beyond your comfort zone and prove that you can do amazing things. Nothing a bully can say or do will have any affect on you.
6. Confront them – When push comes to shove you will be able to use effective and concise techniques to incapacitate an attacker and get away. A bully will rarely attack someone strong enough to fight back. And training each day reinforces these skills to where they are natural. The average person can barely defend themselves against a person with even a small amount of training. You shouldn’t use the training, but it is there if you absolutely need it.
(Note, I did not relate every single point from the original article)
Training in martial arts is a fantastic way to build confidence and learn incredible life skills. Becoming bully-proof is one side effect and Columbia Martial Arts has kids and adult classes starting from a beginner level to help you. Drop in today for a free week!