For children to help prevent and cope with bullying, learning and participating in martial arts can be incredibly beneficial. Martial arts, such as taekwondo, karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai offer a variety of skills that can contribute to children’s overall well-being. Mentally and physically, participation in martial arts can improve children’s coping methods and help them not only to deal with bullies but may also help stop them from being bullies themselves.
First and foremost, martial arts instill respect. Kids learn deference to their instructors and to the masters of the practice in class. In addition, kids learn to be respectful to teachers, their parents, and other elders. They also learn to respect other students and to treat them the way they would want to be treated. Children who practice MMA learn to respect themselves, as well.
Secondly, participating in martial arts builds confidence and helps improve self-esteem for many children. Many martial arts schools utilize the belt system for progressing to the highest level of the practice, such as the black belt. On the way to the top, however, are several steps and other colors of belts.
Through goal setting, kids are able to see what it takes to succeed and subsequently accomplish it. Being able to achieve one’s goals is a huge self-esteem booster. Confident kids may feel less threatened by bullies or may feel that they don’t need to be bullied in order to make themselves feel better.
Another way that martial arts builds confidence is through improvement in physical strength and flexibility. Sometimes, bullies pick on kids who are smaller or weaker than they are. In the martial arts, size is not a determining factor in strength, skill, or power. If a child has the physical strength to overpower an antagonist, then they will be confident in having that power. While martial arts does not promote violence, it is helpful for kids to know that they can use their skills for self-defense if necessary. Watch also what they eat. Breakfast is important and to learn more, read this post.
Role-playing is a large part of martial arts, which can prepare kids for dealing with unusual situations. With this preparedness, children may further have the confidence to defuse a situation without resorting to violence. Through acting out scenarios beforehand, kids learn how to control themselves: breath calmly, maintain a confident posture and remain in control of a situation. Some things also depend on the school your kids are going to. Some parents were so disappointed with public schools that they started to homeschool their kids so they wouldn’t be bullied any longer.
Through discipline and respect, play and exercise, martial arts can help provide kids with accountability and confidence to deal with real-world social situations, conflict resolution, and create a coping mechanism. Children who participate in martial arts can help stop the cycle of bullying, especially if they are at risk of being bullies. If children never learn social or problem-solving skills, martial arts can provide them with ways to deal with problematic situations.
For kids on the East Coast, Tiger Schulmann’s MMA offers a bully-prevention program that focuses on martial arts training. Kids can learn how to defuse a bully without using violence, how to recognize a bully, and what different stages of bullying are. Through these lessons, kids are able to build upon the major tenets of martial arts, including respect, discipline, confidence, and self-esteem to help deal with bullies. Keep in mind that the first five years of a kid’s life are determining many things that will happen later.