Bullying is something that fills parents with dread. When kids are in school you can only hope that they will not be verbally or physically abused by bullies. Most parents, certainly those reading this article, also don’t want to get the call that their child IS the bully.
Keeping this in mind we use the power of jiu jitsu and the discipline of martial arts to teach our kids jiu jitsu classes specific lessons that prevent them from being a target for bullies and perhaps even help other kids from becoming one. These are the 5 anti-bullying lessons we teach every child.
Lesson #1: How to deal with confrontations
When being bullied you need to understand when something has gone too far.
As a victim of bullying, you don’t want to make a problem of something that’s not threatening, but at the same time, you want to understand when it’s becoming worse.
During kid’s class, we specifically teach kids how to manage distance from threats and how to understand when physically defending themselves is necessary. We teach them about self-defense and why their jiu jitsu knowledge should only be used when necessary.
A lot of confrontation prevention comes from confidence. Speaking of confidence…
Lesson #2: Be confident, but not arrogant
Although confidence isn’t guaranteed to stop bullying, being confident is another good anti-bullying lesson.
Bullies by definition pick on targets they perceive as “easy”. They are cowardly and look for the weakest appearing kids to live out whatever twisted bully fantasies they have going on in their head.
Kids that do jiu jitsu unconsciously carry themselves differently. No matter how young, they know that they have been practicing a martial art, and they understand what positions in jiu jitsu control another person. Some of them even enjoy competing.
These changes that appear in kids trained in martial arts are not noticeable to them, but they often keep them from the bully’s radar.
By having confidence the Eaglets also wouldn’t feel the need to go out of their way and bully someone else. They wouldn’t feel the need to prove themself since they are confident in who they are.
Lesson #3: Communicate first and do it well
The next anti-bullying lesson not only relates to bullying but also daily life.
Communication is such an important skill for every aspect of your life. Being able to talk to anyone about anything is a skill that could take years to get, but will be well worth it.
Through jiu jitsu, you are communicating physically and verbally with your moves, actions, and words.
All the kids’ coaches here at Legion are willing to have conversations with the Eaglets about any problem they might be having and care so much about every kid.
Not only do we want the Eaglets to have good communication with the coaches, but we also want it with the other Eaglets.
When an argument happens in the gym, Coach Mike spends time discussing the situation with both kids and trying to help them solve the problem together in an adult-like way. This way kids learn how to express themselves and always resort to words first instead of violence or pouting.
Lesson #4: Showing empathy
As mentioned previously, it is very important to us to not bestow jiu jitsu skills on kids that will use them for bad purposes, bullying for example. This is where empathy comes in.
By having empathy you understand what it would be like to be bullied.
Empathy opens the possibility of having more friends and understanding how others are feeling.
In class, we try to prevent the Eaglets from judging each other so they just focus on having a good round of training. Then during the round, the Eaglets focus on putting their opponent in positions they’ve been stuck in before.
The Eaglets are gaining skills to understand both sides of a situation and increase their empathy skills.
Lesson #5: Understanding your skills
The last anti-bullying lesson also prevents the Eaglets from being bullies by having them understand what they are capable of and how they can hurt someone if they’re not careful.
Yes, if you’re in a fight you would want to defend yourself, but if you’re at school and someone takes your pencil, you don’t want to start choking them over it.
The coaches at Legion are correcting the Eaglets when they’re not being careful with their training partners to ensure they understand how their actions can affect others.
Those are the five anti-bullying lessons we teach every child to prevent them from being the target of a bully or even becoming the bully.
These skills can help the kids in every aspect of their lives and will help them thrive in any situation.
If you’re in the San Diego area and you want us to teach your child some of these lessons and more, make sure to schedule your child for a free trial class.
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