Is this a fix to bullying?

Bullying picture

Verbal Karate, what is it?

This programme is all about helping kids realise that with a little knowledge they can build unbreakable self-esteem.

Having emotional power is built through simple steps of how to handle situations. This is delt with in the “Belief” portion of our Character 1st course that we teach here at Kicx in Gloucester.  It is all about helping kids “internally” build the incredible life skill of self-belief.

We will be talking about bullying, social exclusion, cyberbullying etc.  In order to make sure we set everyone up for success, we will be laying building blocks that they can follow, especially the parent. This will make sure when your child has questions on “what should I do”, you will have the answers.

Parents do need to be prepared!  You will need to practice with your child, just like anything else that you want to master.  Helping your child to become “bully proof” is not just about reading this material.  You will play an active role in your child having success, and role playing with them will be very important.

I have been teaching martial arts for over 30 years here in Gloucester and in those years, I have had hundreds of parents come to me to help them with their children.  I am passionate about building a person from the “inside out”.  This sounds strange as martial arts seems to be an “external” art, but in the correct school, you will find out that it is more about building a person’s character.

Just because a person can block, punch and kick, it does not mean that they are well balanced.  All that stuff is external. I am interested in what is going on inside the child head.  If “externally” they are saying they are fine, but “internally” they are saying to themselves that they are worthless, does that Black Belt around their waste matter!

Am I saying that training in the martial arts does not matter?  NO!!  Martial Arts taught in the right way will be teaching from the inside and out!  A school that works on a child’s Character as well as self-defence skills is what you are looking for.

Let me give you an example of four kids,

LEO the bully

Max the bullied

Lucy the fighter

Chantelle, the martial artist.

Leo has never trained in the martial arts.  He has always been a confident child; some would say rude.  He is very straight talking, and will never back down.  He is not scared of anything, or anyone.  In school he is known as “the bully” He seems happy.  He does have leadership skills, but he does not know the right way to use them.

Max struggles at school with most things.  He finds the class material a little harder than most kids.  Other children know this, and say mean things to him sometimes.  Leo is the main bully, other children around him just laugh at what he is doing.  The kids call Max fat, ugly, smelly.  They say horrible things about his family.  Max is sad.

Lucy is in a very similar to Max, so her parents took her to a martial arts school.  Her parents want to make sure that she is not a target, and want to make sure she knows how to defend herself if she needs to. Even though she is training, and learning the martial art moves, the martial art school she goes to only concentrates on how great her “martial art” moves are.  She looks really good in the school, and can fight in the club well. The instructors are mostly working “externally”, with not much work on her internal voice.  For some kids this would be fine, but not for Lucy.  Internally, she is still sad.  She is no better off at school, still picked on.  She does not know how to handle situations. She still feels worthless.

Chantelle was the same as Lucy. Felt the same as she did, and bullied in the same way.  She was taken to a different karate school that taught her more than just karate moves.  Their main focus was on what Karate is all about, building a person’s character. After a few months of training, she was not just great at karate moves, but internally, she was now very strong.  The situations that would have frightened her before, now just roll off her back.  She now reacts differently to the negative comments that come to her.  She has realised that even though Leo is a bully, she knows that he is sad and jealous of her.  He is not loved like she is at home by her parents, so in a way she feels sorry for him.  She is also very confident in herself; she knows the right thing to do if ever a situation arose that she needs more than words.  After all, she knows Karate!

In this “hypothetical” scenario, it paints a simple solution.  Of course, the reality can be very different.  Not all children are the same, and every situation is different.  What I do know for certain is this.  Bullying is a terrible, hurtful thing.  It does not stop by itself, and if you are looking for the school to stop it, well, good luck with that.  So what can be done?

We protect our kids by allowing them to understand they can “control” the power.  The bully needs the power over a person to bully them, when that is not given, things change.

If anyone would like any more details on my verbal karate course, please get in contact.

Stephen Thompson and the Character 1st Team

Character 1st LOGO March 2020

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