Did you know that October is Anti-Bullying Awareness Month? Despite the best efforts of awareness and prevention campaigns, bullying continues to be a major issue among school-age children. (Click here to see some stats and facts about bullying according to a study done by the University of British Columbia.)
Martial arts instructors and practitioners are in a unique position to offer assistance to children who may be experiencing bullying, or even reduce bullying behavior through guidance and training.
Beyond teaching children techniques that will help defend themselves physically, martial arts training also helps to develop self-confidence and assertiveness that can help children defend themselves psychologically and emotionally as well. Furthermore, most martial arts disciplines teach peaceful conflict resolution, which could benefit children who are prone to bullying behaviour by addressing their motives, and thus prevent them from becoming bullies.
If you’re a martial arts instructor, check out some of the resources available to you through organizations like Martial Artists Against Bullying (MAAB). Please share with us the techniques and lesson plans that you’ve used, or plan to use, to help your students with this challenging issue.
If you’re a student, let us know how you will be identifying and reducing bullying amongst you and your peers, be it in the classroom, playground or everyday life.