October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time dedicated to teachers, students, parents, communities, and martial arts schools to work together to end bullying.
A Statistic from StopBullying.gov states “that nearly 30 percent of students in 6th through 12th grades report being the victims of bullying. More than 70 percent of students in those same grades say they’ve seen bullying at their schools.”
Knowing bullying can have devastating long-term physical, mental and social effects, it’s important to know what is and isn’t defined as bullying.
StopBullying.gov says bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior that includes:
- An imbalance of power – real or perceived. Kids who bully use power to harm or control others. Power can come in the form of physical strength, access to embarrassing info or even popularity.
- Repetition. Bullying behavior happens more than once, or has the potential to repeat.
Bullying most often occurs in school, on the bus, and online through social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat. The three main types of bullying are verbal, social and physical (verbal and social being the most common.) Here are some examples of what the different types of bullying can look like:
Verbal – saying or writing mean things
- Teasing or taunting
- Threatening harm
- Sexual comments
Social or relational – damaging another’s reputation or relationships
- Spreading rumors
- Intentionally embarrassing another student
- Excluding someone on purpose
- Telling other students not to be someone’s friend
Physical – hurting someone or damaging their belongings
- Hitting, kicking, pinching, tripping or pushing
- Taking someone’s things or breaking them
- Mean gestures and spitting
Martial arts teaches self-confidence, self-control and self-respect
Learning martial arts may seem like an obvious way to ensure your kids don’t become victims of physical bullying. After all, they receive the self-defense training they need to protect themselves and fight back.
But martial arts also equips our kids with another important tool for preventing bullying: Confidence. Students develop healthy self-esteem when they learn martial arts, which gives them the self-confidence to stand up for themselves, without using force.
Plus, they learn self-control, how to be assertive, think on their feet and how to redirect their energy when being picked on or enduring threats. When a student keeps their composure and doesn’t engage, a bully loses their power.
There’s one more characteristic martial arts teach that’s important to stopping bullying: Respect. Students learn to respect others and themselves. This means they’re less likely to tolerate being bullied or to bully others.
Organizations like STOMPOutBullying.org are raising awareness of National Bullying Prevention Month by hosting events throughout October. Martial Arts business owners and instructors can get their martial arts school involved and help put an end to bullying – this month and throughout the entire year.