A Look at the Root Cause of Bullying & How Karate Helps Both Victims & Bullies
Whether your child is being bullied or is displaying bully-like tendencies, karate can be a great tool to help build self-confidence. Karate also provides an outlet for pent up aggression, allowing your child to overcome bullying.
Childhood bullying continues to be a problem that negatively affects kids on both sides. But both bullies and the victims of bullies can overcome this problem with the help of karate.
Here’s a look at the root cause of bullying, along with all the benefits of karate for children, especially when it comes to bullying and tackling aggression.
The Root Cause of Bullying
The desire for confidence is the root cause of bullying. Bullies often lack confidence, so they put others down and instill fear in others to gain status, command attention, and ultimately gain confidence.
Thankfully, there are outlets, like karate, that are both positive and socially acceptable ways to help children gain the attention, approval, and confidence they’re after, so they don’t have to bully others.
The Negative Impact Bullying Has on Kids
Bullying reduces the quality of life for both victims and bullies. Being bullied can negatively affect a child’s confidence and self-esteem. And victims may not reach their full potential out of fear, intimidation, and low self-esteem.
A bully’s quality of life can also suffer if they become social outcasts, and their aggressive behaviours turn into criminal behaviours as they get older.
But karate can help both bullies and victims of bullying become confident, disciplined people who can protect themselves in a positive and acceptable way.
How Karate Can Help Tackle Bullying
Here are some of the benefits of karate for kids who are potential victims of bullying or who show bully-like behaviour.
Prevents the Problem
Kids who are enrolled in martial arts programs are less likely to be bullies or victims of bullies. Karate reduces the rate of externalizing behaviours, such as verbal and physical bullying since it teaches students that bullying and picking fights are prohibited.
Karate also helps reduce anger and aggression and improve the mental well-being of both potential bullies and victims.
By starting self-defence classes at a young age, martial arts training can become a positive formative influence on a child’s life. They can learn techniques and develop a mindset that will help guide their actions throughout their lives
Bullies tend to have a lack of respect for others, which is evident in their attempts to control and exert dominance over others.
Since respect is a core value of martial arts, karate teaches kids the importance of treating everyone with respect and how mistreating others is wrong. So when kids participate in this training consistently, they learn to respect others and are less likely to become bullies.
Learning to respect others also teaches kids to demand respect for themselves. So while a victim of bullying will have low self-esteem and a negative self-image, they can learn to expect nothing but respect from others. In other words, they will learn that they deserve to be treated with respect from everyone, including themselves, and won’t accept anything less.
Helps Children Learn Self Control
Karate teaches kids to control their actions by being mindful and aware of their thoughts and emotions. Since bullies are impulsive, easily angered, and unable to control their emotions and actions, this learned self-control can help bullies resist their impulses to hurt others.
Self-defence training also teaches kids the self-control needed to avoid bullies and diffuse negative situations. They learn to avoid using words and actions that could trigger a bully’s aggressive behaviour.
Kids who lack consistent discipline in their lives are more likely to become bullies because they don’t have a clear understanding of the behaviour that is expected of them. But karate gives kids a clear, consistent structure to follow for acceptable behaviour.
Also, children who are disciplined will display strong, disciplined behaviour to defend themselves and ward off bullies since bullies are less likely to target children who appear strong-willed.
Bullies will often harass victims who appear weak, unsure of themselves, or easily frightened. These “easy targets” are easy to scare and put down, so bullies will target them in an attempt to gain confidence through attention and status.
Children who take karate will become more confident, projecting strength and courage, so they will less likely be victims of bullying, and they will also less likely become bullies.
A Healthy Way to Release Pent Up Aggression
A buildup of stress, anger, and frustration will make bullies lose control of their emotions and actions and unleash their aggression onto others, even with the slightest provocation.
Martial arts training provides a healthy and socially acceptable outlet to release these built-up emotions. So kids will less likely bully others as an outlet to ease their frustration.
Victims of bullying experience stress that affects their health by lowering their immune system and causing physical symptoms of stress, like nausea, headaches, and painful stomach aches.
To help combat these negative effects of stress, karate provides stress relief through vigorous exercise, which will help improve the overall health and well-being of kids who are stressed.
Teaches Kids How to Work Well with Others
Karate classes help kids become more social and empathetic team players instead of anti-social bullies who lack empathy.
Children can also learn leadership skills, including how to connect well with others, make friends, and work with others, making them more confident with socializing and having a social support group.
Martial arts training teaches kids valuable self-defence skills that will help them in the face of bullying. They can block and repel attacks from bullies who are trying to hurt them. And they will gain skills, knowledge, confidence, strength, and empowerment that will deter bullies from harassing them.
Potential bullies who desire power can learn to use power and strength to defend themselves and others instead of controlling others. They can develop a sense of pride and empowerment when they learn to use their strength to defend others. And they can earn the attention, love, confidence, and respect they’re after.
Bullying continues to be a problem for kids that can negatively impact the lives of both the bully and the victim. But by instilling confidence and discipline in kids through karate, kids will feel empowered to defend themselves against bullies. They will be able to release stress and frustration in a healthy way. And they will also gain the confidence, power, and attention they desire by helping instead of hurting others.