Learning martial arts is one of the best ways to combat bullying. This is because the discipline that it instills in practitioners helps both prevent potential bullies from engaging in this act and helps others respond to any attempts to bully them in a much healthier and more productive manner than may have been the case before. This is important as the negative effects of these encounters can last for years. These can include anxiety, depression and physical effects being endured by the sufferers and continued abusive behavior from the bullies.
One of the best ways to keep these situations from happening is to control the impulses of those who might otherwise be bullies. In fact, this is a skill that can have a positive impact on all areas of life, and it’s one that isn’t often taught in educational settings other than reacting to situations that have already gotten out of control. Mastering martial art also helps children learn how each of their actions affects those around them and how those actions affect themselves.
Improved Decision Making
We need to make decisions throughout our lives. Some of these are ones in which we can analyze the situation from all angles for long periods of time before coming to a thought-out decision. Others need to be done on the spot, instinctually. So much time and effort go into preparing for those moments, and then decisions need to be made without taking time then to mull over the factors. They need to be analyzed on the spot after significant preparation went into preparing for those moments.
This is helped so much by learning a martial art as children get in the habit of preparing for moments that call for instinctual decisions and then performing well in them. These on-the-spot decision-making skills can then be used in all areas of life, including knowing what to do in the boardroom and in other encounters.
This skill set helps allow practitioners to quickly grasp a situation, both as it stands in front of them as well as the big picture, and see what the best solution is.
One of the most important lessons that martial arts provide children is getting into the habit of long-term discipline. If a goal is in sight, it generally takes steady progress over a long period of time to accomplish that goal, and much of that work is done behind the scenes with no fanfare. This process is relatable to many areas of life. Getting up in time to do some workouts before school every day is one way that this can be done. Ensuring that a healthy diet is followed throughout the day every day is another. Simply engaging in martial art is one as well. These young practitioners will then ultimately get to experience long-term benefits.
Simply being confident can do so much to cause success in life as well as discourage bullies from engaging in the act of bullying in the first place. This sense of confidence helps practitioners push past any feelings of self-doubt and keep pushing towards their goals while the aura of confidence that they give off will increase the number of opportunities for success that others will give them throughout their lives as they are consciously or subconsciously impressed by this state of mind. Meanwhile, bullies tend to focus on the weaker ones in society, and being confident help show that this person is not one of those.
This is also shown in body language as so much of how confident you appear to others is through the strength of your body language. As it relates to bullying, will the ground be stood or timidly retreated from?
The martial arts teach respect for others. This will have an especially strong impact on potential bullies as many of them bully others because they don’t respect them. Now they will learn to respect everyone. In fact, this is one of the core points of learning a martial art and is regularly shown in the simple act of the bow.
Meanwhile, those who have been bullied can be helped by having a greater level of respect in two primary ways. The first and most important one is that they will have greater respect in themselves and know their worth. The other is that they will have a better idea of what the bully is experiencing and may be able to help them realize the negative aspects of what they’re doing.
The practice of listening is one that many have not mastered and is one of the most important ones that’s taught when learning a martial art. Being at attention – not just physically, but mentally too – while the instructor is speaking is something that is carried over to home and school and into any jobs that the student engages in. Of course, we all need to be ready to speak when it’s appropriate and necessary, but the focus should always be on listening, on understanding and truly embracing what is being said.
One of the reasons why those who learn martial art are more comfortable dealing with challenging situations with others is that they know that they can defend themselves if they need to. It won’t be attempting to put up a false front of confidence, which bullies can oftentimes see-through; it will be knowing that they can handle themselves if the situation escalates. Of course, training will be focused on avoiding all conflicts possible and defusing situations whenever possible.
Learning how to be disciplined, confident and respectful helps eliminate and diffuse situations that might have involved a bully and to get the most out of practitioners’ skills and out of their lives. Of course, learning a martial art will not ensure that all of life’s issues will be solved, but they will surely help practitioners better handle those situations.