Bullying is a common problem among kids. It’s a constant discussion on the news and is often the subject of public service announcements, but nothing is as effective as martial arts training for both bullies and the kids they dominate. It might sound far fetched, but the inner strength and discipline that martial arts impart are highly effective at helping young people control both bullying impulses and timidity.

Understanding bullies

Researchers at the Yale Center Child Study Center recently set out to discover why some kids are consistently hostile towards others https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/understanding-bullying/. Their research was driven by statistics that show that the number of children menaced by bullies has reached worrisome levels. While it may seem like bullies are the ones who have the power and advantage at school and areas where kids play, Yale found that bullies act out negatively towards others because they lack the personal skills to express themselves any better. The fact that bullies find themselves at the center of negative attention and disciplinary action on a constant basis can give the impression that they don’t mind, but they undergo the same stress and feelings of guilt as less aggressive kids. It’s just that they lack the mental and emotional control to stay out of trouble.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one common source of bullying behavior http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22813400/ns/health-childrens_health/t/kids-adhd-may-be-more-likely-bully/. Parents who have kids who bully others often over-rely on ADHD medication as a solution. Studying fighting is a more holistic response because it reinforces personal discipline and emphasizes the importance of being focused. The training it imparts is actually more effective at managing reckless impulses as well as giving a young person who has difficulty interacting with others a more controlled framework to do so in.

Understanding kids who have been bullied

Kids who have been victimized by bullies are caught off guard by them. They have no idea how to respond when suddenly shoved them or threatened so are overcome with anxiety. Some may even be prone towards being picked on and have lost confidence in anything else is possible. They instantly succumb to acts of aggression. Bullies may perceive them as easy targets because they’re small in stature or are shy and stay to themselves. Kids who are routinely bullied sometimes come from homes where they’ve been raised to be polite and knowing how to deal with an aggressive kid is a skill that’s totally missing from their upbringing.

How training affects kids with histories of being bullies

No child is a bully at birth. It’s not an unchangeable part of their identity. It would seem that a kid who enjoys beating up and pushing around others would become even more dangerous while learning how to kick and punch opponents into submission. It’s important to understand that a young person who learns karate, Judo or another martial art is studying a form of self-defense, however. Young people who train at dojos aren’t being given a green light to be violent. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In Jiu-Jitsu, for example, being an attacker doesn’t turn out well since every jab you take is quickly used against you.

No competent student can step on the mat without mastering the emotions that will distract them from winning a match if they don’t. In Karate, belts begin with white and move up to black. Every kid is vying to improve their technique. They must be attentive towards what they’re learning in order to reach the next level. The journey from beginner to advanced demands steady improvement and confidence. Getting a new belt requires so much more than brutally overpowering someone else. Kids have to exemplify leadership qualities. They have to know the correct way to stand so need the right posture and technique. They must also be able to manage stress and pressure as well as the disappointment of not winning. The acquisition of these skills leads towards a more balanced approach towards others that kids carry with them into their lives outside the gym. Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate-Do, http://web.iyte.edu.tr/~gokhankiper/Karate/Funakoshi.htm believed that a true karate expert tried their best to have a few fights as possible.

How training affects kids with histories of being picked on

Kids who are shy by nature might prefer reading or drawing to physical activity, so it may be a challenge for them at first to spend their free time kicking and punching in a gym after school, but with a good teacher, they’ll soon develop a new relationship with their bodies. Hitting a mat or grappling won’t seem so shocking after they experienced it a number of times with changing opponents in a structured environment. Furthermore, they’ll develop greater confidence and a more realistic expectation of other kids that don’t rely on them being polite and respectful. Training for surprise conflicts will turn being grabbed by someone they assume is tougher than they into a moment they’re prepared for and respond to methodically with a clear head.

Choosing the right style and school

Never simply pick the studio closest to your house. All martial arts training is not the same. You want to choose the technique you think will be the best fit for your kid, and the only way you’ll know is by visiting an array of schools that allow you to watch classes and chat with instructors about their distinctive teaching styles and backgrounds. You’ll also want to talk to them about why you think your child needs to study self-defense. From kung-fu to Judo, the variety of schools that teach self-defense to kids is growing at a steady pace. The ideal prospective instructor will tell you what they recommend for your child whether they’re withdrawn and shy or overly physical with others.