Did you know that 1 in 5 students reported being bullied on school grounds? And 70.6% of students report having witnessed a bullying incident? It’s very likely that your child is either bullied in some way, or has been a bystander to bullying. Do your kids know the best strategies for bullying prevention?
As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children and equip them for the real world. Unfortunately, we can’t be with them 24/7, and as our kids get older they often keep things from us. So how can you safeguard your child or teen from becoming the victim of a bully? Or becoming a bully themself?
And let’s not forget, bullying doesn’t just happen on school grounds; more than 1 in 6 students have also reported being bullied online via social media or even texting. With such alarming statistics, it would not be surprising if you are concerned about your child’s welfare at school and online. It’s important to acknowledge that bullying is a big deal. It has devastating effects on children and families such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.
Fortunately, we can help! Every October, our dojo and local schools observe National Bullying Prevention Month. While Total Impact Martial Arts teaches students anti-bullying strategies all year-round, this month is especially important to bring awareness to this issue by promoting kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
Now is the perfect opportunity to address all forms of bullying, teach your kids prevention strategies, and understand how karate classes help with bullying prevention.
Using Martial Arts for Bullying Prevention
It’s important to first understand exactly what bullying is, where it stems from, and who are the likely targets. The CDC defines bullying as “unwanted aggressive behavior by youth towards another group, involving an observer for perceived power balance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social or may be damaging to the victim’s property.”
These days, bullying also takes place online, through technology, commonly known as cyberbullying. Unfortunately, bullying is widespread in the United States today, with some groups experiencing it more based on race and sexual orientation. Being bullied can severely affect the person’s self-image, social interactions, and school performance and can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use, and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Bullying can be prevented through targeted therapy, self-defense techniques, and also anti-bullying campaigns. Bullies often target weaker students, who might not fit in, and get a self-esteem boost out of scaring and/or threatening their victims.
Many anti-bullying programs have been implemented through schools and communities at national and local levels to discourage this behavior and make children and teens feel safer. All of these initiatives cannot completely eradicate bullying, but when combined together they can reduce these unfortunate incidents significantly and help make our world a better place for young people.
One way to combat bullying is through martial arts training. Not only does a martial arts student become capable of defending themselves during a physical altercation, but kids karate training is shown to improve confidence, leadership skills, and a boldness – all important qualities that make someone less susceptible to bullies. Martial arts training teaches kids to stand up for themselves, as well as how to protect others in need. On the flip side, martial arts training can also have a positive effect on the actual bully by helping them channel their emotions and energy in a different way.
Find out how you can empower your child with martial arts to keep them safe from bullying…
6 Ways Martial Arts Prevents Bullying
Everyone deserves to feel safe to be themselves, whether at home, at school, the playground, and even at work. At Total Impact, it’s very important that we have a positive lifelong impact on our students. We share many bully prevention techniques through the lessons and training in our kids karate program.
There are countless benefits that come from our martial arts classes. Here’s how martial arts training can be used to help your child or teen deal with bullying…
Bullies often choose victims that lack self-confidence. Children and teens who are seemingly weak, unsure of themselves in their surroundings, or easily frightened are more susceptible to being picked on. Martial arts training boosts confidence in students by teaching them to be assertive, own the space they are in, and walk with confidence. With an aura of strength, martial arts students are less likely to be picked on.
Bullies often target victims to assert their dominance. The idea that others fear them and will cower in their presence makes the process enjoyable for them. They often lack confidence in other areas of life which is why the boost from bullying is preferred. With martial arts, these students gain self-confidence reducing the need and desire to threaten others to feel powerful.
Bullied children often develop low self-esteem which makes them vulnerable to even more bullying. The lack of respect makes them succumb to aggressive peers and prevents them from standing up for themselves. Through martial arts training, we teach our students to respect themselves first. It is only when they respect themselves that others will respect them.
Bullies consider themselves above everyone else. They think they are superior to others and try to force/command respect from their peers. Being in a martial arts program teaches the bully that everyone is worthy of the same level of respect, making no one superior to the other. They also learn respect for authority, including teachers, instructors, parents, and peers.
Students who seem out of place, look unsure of themselves, and are weaker are more prone to bullying. These kids often become conditioned to act in ways that prompt further bullying. Fostering self-discipline to manage behavior, emotions, outlook, and posture through martial arts are great bully-prevention tactics.
Bullies tend to lack discipline at home, leading to aggressive and abusive behavior in schools and social spaces to gain attention. Karate shows kids how to foster self-discipline, teaching them what behavior is appropriate and what is not.
Bullies are often hot-tempered, impulsive, and driven by extreme emotions. Bullies are meek and often give in to behavior that triggers bullying from other students. Martial arts programs help students learn the art of self-control, managing emotions, as well as conducting themselves in a manner that wards off bullying. We teach healthy strategies for expressing and identifying our emotions, rather than impulsively acting out on them.
Bullying behavior may be related to stress, either stress causes someone to bully – or being bullied causes the victim high stress. Bullying is relatively more common in middle schools when pre-teens are growing up and going through puberty. The adolescence period can be stressful with students figuring out physical and anatomical changes. Martial arts can help students channel their stress (from school, family, peers) into physical training and developing strength. It also offers them a stronger sense of self, making students feel confident, at peace, and less stressed about their life circumstances.
When students have the ability to defend themselves, bullies will often back down. Should a confrontation become physical, martial arts trains children how to diffuse the situation without retaliation. Our C.O.B.R.A. certified instructors teach kids how to escape grapples, protect themselves, and neutralize threats in the safest way possible.
Empower Your Kids to Stand Up to Bullies with Martial Arts
So what sets our karate school apart from the rest? Total Impact Martial Arts combats bullying by teaching children and teens confidence, self-discipline, respect, self-defense, and teamwork. The aim is not to foster aggressiveness, but rather instill self-defense capabilities so students can protect themselves and stand up for their peers in need.
Here’s what a parent had to say about their experience with Total Impact Martial Arts:
“Total Impact is a wonderful school that we are so happy our son is a part of. They instill great values and teach kids to be respectful and resilient. Our son is attending twice a week and loves it so much that he wants to go even more often. Our younger son also goes and is thrilled with the school. The teachers are great and everyone is very helpful. This is a wondrous place for kids to learn from and be part of something meaningful. I love that my son can’t wait to be there. We would 100% recommend this school to everyone!” – Joanna C.
We all want to protect our kids and keep them safe, at school and online. While we can’t be with them around the clock, parents can equip their children with the knowledge and bully prevention skills they need to protect themselves. Help your child feel good about themself and make this world a better place!
Be proactive and enroll them in a Total Impact’s Martial Arts program. Our curriculum blends multiple styles together to create a well rounded system which utilizes techniques of American, Chinese, Israeli, Japanese, and Korean origins, including: Bu Kyoku Ryu karate, Kickboxing/Boxing, Krav Maga, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Judo & Jiu-Jitsu. It is about growing and continuing the evolution of martial arts by combining the best techniques from the various styles into one program.
Our classes are taught by highly qualified instructors! We consider ourselves experts in self-defense tactics and anti-bullying strategies. Our dojo offers a range of programs for students of all ages. Connect with us to find the best program for your family!
Total Impact specializes in creating confident, strong, and healthy Students in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Wheeling, and surrounding areas!
Let’s make this world a safer place…
Empower your children to say NO to bullying!