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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anti-Bullying: Martial Arts Success Stories

Bullying statistics are frightening, but not all bullying stories have negative outcomes. At Raging Waters on Saturday, one of our Dragons, Brian, defended his younger teammate Roman, age 6, from a bully... without throwing a single punch!

I hear it all the time: martial arts just teaches kids to be violent, it doesn't teach them how to use words, it just shows them how to fight. The truth is that the right martial arts program always stresses nonviolent conflict resolution, with any physical measures taken as a last resort.

While it's true that anti-bullying policies can minimize bullying, the fact is that bullying is here to stay. Just watch puppies play and you'll see that they establish dominance by harassing one another! Kids are no different. However, kung fu training helps ensure that our kids won't be victims.

Here's what happened: Roman was playing near the hoses in Splash Island, the kid-friendly center of Raging Waters with tunnels, slides and other attractions. An older boy grabbed a hose and sprayed it in Roman's face, disorienting and frightening him. Roman's mother saw what was happening but was too far away to do anything right away. She didn't have to, because Brian, seeing what was happening, grabbed Roman and calmly took him away from the bully.

Brian, by the way, is an excellent martial artist for his age. He's only 9 and has been studying with us for about 3 years now. He's participated in countless demonstrations, events, workshops, etc. and is a very confident individual. Had he wanted to, I'm sure he could have physically handled the bully with ease. Luckily for everyone involved, the bully did not pursue him or Roman and they encountered no further trouble while at the park.

So why is it important that our kids know how to defend themselves? Isn't it enough to teach them the non-physical stuff? Well... do you think Brian would have felt half as confident defending his friend if he was worried about what he'd do if the bully hit him?

It's so simple: Kung fu training gives kids the confidence they need to defend themselves AND the tools they need to avoid having to. It's a win-win!

-Kung Fu Los Angeles staff