Thursday, 19 January 2012
Last week I got into a really involved conversation with a couple whose kid is having bully issues. They found out I’m a martial arts teacher and quickly started to question me on the subject of bullies. I have a particular dislike for bullies, so I was more than happy to help them as much as I can.
Most of you already know that there are several services that I always try to provide for free. The biggest of those services is my anti-bully course. I keep a copy of the out-line to the course on my Face-book, so if you would like more details, you can find them there.
Typically I can get a teen or pre-teen through my program in six to ten weeks, and I work with the parents as well as the student in providing strategies to deal with their situations. But I will work longer with them if need be.
The key is that when they are finished, they have very specific skills, and knowledge, coupled with a grade of confidence that will put them on a superior foot to the bully.
I do want to emphasize that the course is NOT about” kicking the bully’s butt”. Though sometimes it may come to that, most of the time these situations can be resolved in other less violent ways. And believe it or not Karate is about finding those alternatives.
Instead I use a strategy that works three ways:
- By building confidence. (Particularly in use of the carry-over principle. As a martial arts instructor that is my strongest tool.)
- Knowledge of how a bully thinks. This includes how he picks his victims, as well as what sorts of things deter most bullies.
- Learning how to defend yourself competently. So that if all else fails, the list ends with taking a stand.
That last one is offensive to many, and recently caused quite a heated debate on my Facebook recently. Some will tell you that “Turn the other cheek” is an absolute. However even Jesus turned the tables over at one point. Also there are others who will tell you that violence for any reason is always stupid. That’s a simplistic approach to life, and as a general rule the simpler things are the less intelligence behind them.
My Rule: Violence should be a last resort. But when the stakes keep going up, we have to make a choice of if we are going to rise to the challenges of those stakes. If that includes making a stand with force, then so be it. But do so with as much compassion as possible.
How will you teach your children to deal with bullies?