Bullying and Martial Arts

*This has become a mini ‘hot topic’ recently – and im weighing in*

“Martial arts are about inclusion,positivity, and support”

I’ve grown up hating bullying – my dad has always had (literally) zero tolerance for bullying and that has clearly left an impression on me. The whole situation stinks, nobody gains from it; it is painful, embarassing, and is completely destructive for everyone involed.

Martial arts helps all people overcome being bullied (everyone knows this); it teaches them how to fight, helps them become stronger, and (what i think has the biggest influence on a bullied person) builds their confidence. No more victim mentality – this feeds through to all other aspects of their lives: they can (and do) now become a winner.

One thing I have noticed is that bullied people are helped, and that’s good; but bullys are just sneered at, called scum and left to end up where they’ll end up (even child bullies).

I get it that there is a victim of bullying and they can be helped with martial arts training, but the bully is clearly a victim of something else; something prior to them becoming a bully. Maybe (just maybe) being sneered at and told they are scumbags won’t constructively help them better themselves. Possibly; it will reinforce their opinions of themselves, and maybe they’ll continue bullying maybe calling someone a bully or scum will encourage them to act scummy and bully

“Society tries to solve bullying, by bullying bullies”

If you are looking at the whole issue of bullying; it is only dealing with a simptom to focus on ‘only’ helping the bullied person e.g. if you kept sprouting out in a tonne of spots everytime you eat chocolate, what do you do to stop this happening? Buy a load of spot cream, slap it all over your face and ignore the fact that you stuffing you face with chocolate is the cause? Or stop with the late night chocolate binges?

It is so socially abnormal to have empathy with a bully but ignoring their point of view just leads to it all amplifying.

The only responsible approach is to open up to both the bully and the bullied, otherwise you are just redirecting the bullying. By only helping the bullied person, you are doing them a disservice – you’re probably just amplifying the whole bullying issue.

Everyone gains from martial arts training – don’t just encourage bullied people into martial arts, you’ll have a much larger (and much more positive) impact on this whole affair with bullying problem if you indscrimitately encourage people to study martial arts.

Currently; bullying seems to be a problem that is fueling so much hate and dehumanization (towards ‘bullies’).

Martial arts training provides: a figure of authority, discipline, respect, physical activity, team work, a structured progress system, stress relief, a positive and supportive environment, and (a big one in my opinion) a non-judgemental acceptance of anyone willing to learn (as well as many more things).

To put it quite plainly in the way i think of it: I wouldn’t treat students differently if they were: black, white, fat, thin, English, Chinese, Labour, Conservative, clever, stupid, priviledged, unpriviledged, etc. and therefore i wouldn’t treat a bully or a bullied person differently – I know martial arts helps absolutely everyone.

I’m not here to discriminate, judge and choose who does and doesn’t deserve martial arts – I’m here to teach martial arts to people who want to learn.

I know people are acting with some level of good intentions when they scorn bullies, but let’s actually help iradicate bullying by opening up to both sides of the issue (otherwise we are just bullying the bullies, which is a mental way to try to stop bullying…)

Thanks for reading. Let’s get rid of bullying – properly.


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Master Luke Robinson

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