This is a broad topic, and could be put into a novel, but I will get straight to the point to keep it short and simple. The one thing that a credible martial arts program will do that no other sport can do, especially the way martial arts does, is instill real unshakeable confidence. I say “sport” because many people call martial arts that, and in some cases they aren’t wrong. I also use the term “sport” to show the advantages of taking martial arts ahead of t-ball or soccer (not that there’s anything wrong with those). To me, taking a martial art isn’t a “sport” thing. It’s a “life” thing. I don’t emphasize sport martial arts. I emphasize life changing martial arts (not that using a martial art as a sport won’t change your life in a positive way, because it most certainly will). A credible martial arts program molds a child in all areas of his or her life, which creates a much healthier and happier child who isn’t a target for bullies, has great focus, shows respect to everyone, does very well in school, has a positive self-esteem and self image, displays self-control is humble, and much more.
Bullying is a major epidemic in our society and it keeps getting worse. There are many anti-bullying programs out there that define the problem quite well and even produce many effective ways to deal with the problem. The problem is they don’t instill the confidence the child needs to be able to follow through with what they are telling them to do. It’s easy to just tell children to stand up to bullies. That’s good advice, but you didn’t instill the confidence in that child to be able to stand up to them. To the children, the risk outweighs the reward of doing that. They feel that if they tell the bully to leave them alone it might escalate the situation and the bully might do worse things or bully them more often. So the children feel that not saying anything is the better thing to do (which obviously it’s not). So how do we change their mindset and instill the confidence they need? That’s where a martial arts program comes in.
In a credible martial arts program children will gain the confidence to stick up for themselves. In fact, because of this confidence, they will most likely not even be vulnerable to bullying. Bullies bully people who appear weak. They don’t bully those who have confidence. You can easily read people. Their body language alone tells you whether or not they have confidence.
Three things define bullying: 1) an imbalance of power (either actual or perceived); 2) intent to cause harm; and 3) repetition (it’s usually repeated over and over). If someone has confidence, it eliminates the imbalance of power. If the confident child is verbally bullied he or she isn’t afraid to stand up for him or herself because the child isn’t afraid of the bully. If the bully did get physical (which most of the time they won’t), the child has the self-defense skills to be able to protect him or herself. If the child is being physically bullied, he or she has the skill set to verbally attempt to stop the bully and if that doesn’t work, the child has the skill set to physically stop the bully (I always advocate restrain, control and negotiate. Striking the bully is always last resort. Hopefully the child doesn’t have to do that). Any trained martial artist will tell you that the more I learn how to fight the less likely I am to ever get into a fight. The reason is they carry themselves differently and the bullies pick up on that and they stop targeting them. It’s that simple.
I co-founded the Stomp the Bullying program which tackles this epidemic in a logical and practical way through qualified martial arts schools. If you want to know more about that program go to my website at www.millersdojo.com and click on the “Stomp the Bullying” link. Everything I teach in the Stomp the Bullying program I teach in my regular child programs as well. Martial art training is the best way to equip your child to become bullyproof. I strongly encourage you to find a credible martial arts program and enroll your child. If you ever have any questions about whether or not a martial arts school is credible contact me. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 814-368-3725. I will do the research for you.
About Michael Miller:
Michael Miller is an international martial arts, self-defense, personal protection, and anti-bullying expert who holds a 5th degree black belt in American Kenpo – a modern reality based street system of combat. He is the co-founder of the “Stomp the Bullying” program where he takes an active approach to teaching children and parents all about bullying, how not to be a bully, how not to become a target, how to handle bullying situations, and more. The program is becoming world recognized with celebrity endorsements from actors Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese in the Karate Kid Series) and Sean Kanan (Karate’s bad boy Mike Barnes in the Karate Kid III). Miller runs a full-time martial arts school in Bradford, Pa (Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo) and teaches American Kenpo, boxing, kickboxing, Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu, and Modern Arnis. He worked for McKean County Children and Youth Services for three years certified by the state of Pennsylvania as a Direct Child Service Worker dealing with child development, child abuse and neglect. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in writing with a minor in sociology. He is also a writer with several magazine feature articles published and one book. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 814-368-3725.