Bullying has been around for as long as we can remember, and so has martial arts. But is there a connection between the two? We think there is. Bullies often target weaker kids, which can lead to things like sleep loss, a lack of self-confidence, and unfortunately even suicide. But that’s where martial arts can come in.
Along with teaching your child self-defense, it can help to put them into a mindset that blocks bullies and focuses on confidence. If used correctly, we believe your child can positively harness the power of martial-arts to up their confidence and deter bullies.
Physical Self-Defense Helps with Mental Self-Defense
Part of learning martial-arts includes being confronted by an “attacker” and learning how to defend yourself. Through the techniques taught, your child will learn how to defend themselves (physically and mentally) and get out of real-life physical attacks. But it doesn’t stop there.
The body affects the mind, and this is no exception. Your child will learn to diffuse tension to avoid a fight (as that’s the last resort). Being able to do so stems from a specific state of mind. When a child is bullied, their first response is to react negatively. But with the skills of martial arts, your child will understand how to not take a bully’s actions or words to heart, but rather to stand strong and confidently. They’ll also be taught to make calm and calculated decisions instead of ones out of anger.
Bullies Stay Away from Confident Kids
Since your child will learn how to stand differently, he/she will give off an air of confidence. There are certain footing positions that your child will be taught, along with different ways to hold their core, shoulders, and their entire body. This is so that they will be “ready” for an attack.
In real life, this can be used to show confidence. Since bullies normally target weaker kids, they’ll be more likely to avoid your child.
Teaching your child these skills will also give them real self-confidence. They’ll know that getting pushed to the ground isn’t the end of the world. They can get back up and try again. When your child pushes themselves physically, they’ll focus on their goals rather than their anxieties.
They’ll also know how to defend themselves. Knowing that they’re safe can be a huge relief to bullied kids, and can cause self-doubt to fade away.
Your Child Will Know How to Handle Themselves
Martial-arts are about the body, but they’re also about the mind. Your child will be in an environment that teaches them that restraint is key. That means that they’ll be encouraged to provide the least amount of damage possible while still protecting themselves. While it may be tempting to injure their attacker due to anger, that’s not the point of self-defense.
Your child will also be taught values such as respect, self-control, and discipline. Not only will these help in their self-defense education, but those ideals will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Your Child Will Know when to Walk Away
As we mentioned above, an important part of martial-arts is restraint. Sometimes that even means walking away from a negative situation. One of the most important things that are taught in self-defense classes is that the best defense is running away. If it’s possible to outrun your attacker, it’s better to flee than risk getting hurt.
The same is true for bullying. Wordlessly walking away from an insult is quite often the best reaction. It shows maturity, self-control, and confidence. Normally those are all things that bully lack—and things that intimidate them.
In the Case of a Fight, Your Child is Protected
But there’s no need to worry. One of the great things about martial arts is that it doesn’t promote violence. A physical fight is taught as a last resort. Educating your child in self-defense will give them the wisdom they’ll need to decide if they can diffuse the situation, walk (or run) away, or stand their ground. And if it comes down to the latter, your child will know how to defend him/herself with control.
During a confrontation, you’re already mentally preparing for a fight. Having trained in martial-arts will make your child accustomed to that rush of adrenaline and emotions. That way, if a fight does break out, your child will be able to keep themselves in check. They’ll also be more confident in standing their ground in the face of aggression.
It’ll Give Your Child the Confidence to Stand up for Others
Your child may find confidence through martial arts, but many others won’t have the opportunity. Standing up for others who can’t defend themselves is something to be proud of in your child. Martial-arts is a great way to teach your child to defend themselves against bullying. And with the ever-growing threat of cyberbullying, preparing your child mentally is important.