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Mixed Martial Arts Classes as a Solution for Bullied Kids

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

Self-Defense Classes

Benefits of Learning Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts Helps Kids Focus

The school year is getting read to begin again after winter break. For many kids the dread is just getting back into the school grind, but for kids who are getting bullied at school, the fear around returning to school is deeper. Although bullying has received a lot of attention in the media there has not been many solutions offered for the bullied kids. Talking about bullying as a problem is an excellent step, but it's not stopping the problem for the kids who are getting picked on every day. Let's face it. Bullying stays with kids into their adulthood. If it was as harmless as some say, giving the "boys being boys" or other lame excuses for remaining actionless, then there would not be middle school students fitting their necklines for nooses. Though rarely talked about as a contributing factor, bullying also impacts teen drinking, drug use, depression, as well as dropouts. Kids are going to escape their pain. Adults carry wounds from their childhood years whether they admit it or not. Most adults can remember that "one guy" or "mean girl" who picked on their clothes, their family, their looks, their ability or intelligence, or just for fun. Case in point are shows like Maury Povich or Jerry Springer with their "look at me now" segments that are a little outlandish on air, but carry the connective theme that shows teasing and bullying back in grade school, middle school, and high school, hangs in some folks' pores.

MTV - Bully Beatdown Teaches Bullies a Lesson

What is the solution for kids who are victimized by bullies? The MTV show "Bully Beatdown" is on the right track. The host of the MTV hit is Jason "Mayhem" Miller, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. The MTV show is about bullies facing someone "their own size" by getting into the fighting cage with a pro mixed martial arts fighter. Yes, there are rules and money is involved as incentive, but the painful stories are real. Victims write the show begging Mayhem to help them stop their bully. During Bully Beatdown, the bully spars with a professional MMA fighter and usually gets beaten up or forced to tap out, otherwise known as giving up, crying "uncle" or punking out. Many times they just can't hack getting hit and physically outmaneuvered. The show usually ends on an apology and lesson learned after the bully was finally on the wrong side of the beat down. Of course, this bullying is consensual whereas actual bullying is unrelenting and against a person's will.

Why Martial Arts - How Can Martial Arts Help Kids and Stop Bullies

Many MMA and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters have talked openly about picking up boxing, Tae Kwon Do,ou Jitsu, kickboxing, karate, Muay Thai, or another martial art as a form of self-defense or to channel energy. Kids who are placed in self-defense classes have an opportunity to learn life lessons that will help them through their teen years and long into adulthood. Self defense classes and martial arts training arms kids, teens, and adults alike with something more powerful than the ability to defend themselves. Martial arts teaches much more than getting in shape and increasing physical ability and agility. Using the five tenets of Tae Kwon Do as an example, martial arts teaches courtesy, integrity, strong spirit, perseverance, and self-control. These concepts are just the beginning.

Teaching teens and children mixed martial arts is one solution for stopping bullying. Martial arts teaches discipline most of all, and respect, so those who are bullies are also excellent matches for taking martial arts classes. Child and teenager bullies are often asserting their power in a harmful way. Bullying is a way that humans make themselves feel better. Teenagers dominate someone else to feel better about themselves and inflate their ego. Research about bullies offers the notion that they are just scared kids, pushing the world outward, a psychological method of coping with internal conflict. Unfortunately, it's very harmful and stays with folks into their adulthood. For bullies who are violently aggressive, boxing, kickboxing, and other martial arts lessons can be a good way to channel the anger or aggressiveness. Both bullies and those who are bullied have a greater tendency toward substance abuse, suicide, and dropping out of school, so intervening early is the best solution. Martial arts discipline is an answer.

Kids martial arts classes are being offered specially in some areas by trainers who know the power that tools that mixed martial arts has to offer. Reading their websites offers insight into the reasons why placing both the kid who is being bullied or a kid who is bullying into martial arts classes is beneficial. They should not be placed together though unless it was through some specialized program to work with bullies and victims together. Studies have shown that kids and teens often start bullying because they are self-conscious and insecure. Bullies choose their victims and they will often pass on those who they cannot break down. When a bully chooses the right victim then that kid has entered a very awful time. Some kids are bullies because they are taking out anger or re-enacting home life. Often the reasons for bullying can be quite profound, while other times kids pick on others simply because they can get away with it.

Martial arts classes have been very successful tools for teaching confidence and self control to kids, teens, and adults. The concepts behind the various schools of martial arts modalities revolve around respect and non-violent ways of problem solving. Learning to solve problems at a young age is a skill that can alter the course of a young person's life. Interventions with kids who have problems with anger, self-esteem, insecurity, and self control can turn a teen who may be headed for later disaster and give him or her positive direction. Martial arts is not limited to boys and men. Girls are bullies, too. Often, the bullying perpetrated by teenage girls is ruthless, emotional battering that may or may not become physical. It tends to be more viscous and damaging. Boxing, kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, grappling, wrestling, and all of the other forms of martial arts ought to be offered more frequently to girls and women. Self defense classes are usually offered for free to women at different martial arts training facilities or gyms. Use a self defense class as an introduction to martial arts.

Help Stop Bullying

My Kid is Getting Bullied - What Can I Do? My Kid is a Bully - What Can I Do?

If you know a child, teenage, or adult who is being bullied, intervene. Most bullies aren't happy, even though they may come off as arrogant, and their victims are wearing the scars whether they are psychological or physical. Although bullying has finally made recent headlines it is not because there are solutions. Schools are denying that bullying is a problem. When everyone deflects responsibility then there are kids getting hurt and damaged in the interim. If you see someone getting bullies, speak up. If you are getting bullied, tell someone. It is nothing to be ashamed of, that's for sure.

If financial restrictions present as a problem, and paying for self defense classes or martial arts lessons isn't possible, talk to a martial arts coach. There are usually ways to work with martial arts teachers regarding pay. Because boxing coaches and MMA coaches know just how transformative martial arts can be they are excellent resources. Tap into that resource. There are many gyms that are now offering classes to kids specifically around bullying because they recognize it as a problem and know that teaching kids to stand up for themselves is important. It's equally important to teach a bully to harness their emotions. Telling a kid that they have a choice to do something different and offering them something different are two completely different things. Offer them martial arts as a solution to bullying.

Photo: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cekongfan.jpg {cekongfan (侧空翻; "side somersault")}



Jul 22, 2011 10:33am
Doing martial arts helped me become a more confidenr person. Much of the time, kids who are getting bullied have lots of confidence and self-esteem issues, and I personally think the way in which a martial arts practice can help you achieve these things is even more important in preventing bullying than even the actual act of learning to physically defend yourself. Much of stopping bullying has to do with preventing it from even starting via asserting yourself positively rather than simply beating the bully up with martial arts techniques.

Thanks for the great article!
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