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Martial Arts Gives Kids the Tools to Stand Up to Bullies

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Martial Arts Gives Kids the Tools to Stand Up to Bullies

Nearly one in three students in the U.S. report being bullied during the school year. Approximately 20 percent of high schoolers report being bullied during the school year, while nearly 15 percent report being bullied online (cyber-bullying). What’s more eye opening is that only about 36 percent of children who are bullied actually report it.

Even adults can experience bullying in the workplace, or online—however many adults are more equipped to deal with bullies than children.

The effects of bullying can be devastating. Reports have shown that students who are bullied have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and poor performance in school. These children are also more likely to experience negative health effects such as headaches and stomach problems.

But bullying doesn’t only affect the bullied, it also has negative effects on the bully. Students who bully others are at higher risk of substance use and abuse, academic problems and violence later in adolescence. A strong association between bullying and suicide also exist.

In recent years, bullying and cyber bullying have gained the attention of lawmakers, educators, parents, medical professionals and the media. Schools are putting bullying prevention education and practices in place. Students are being taught to be more than a bystander, but to step in and help those who are being bullied and those who are experiencing bullying are being encouraged to speak up whether a witness, target or bully.

As time goes on, we hope to see positive results from these anti-bullying measures, but is there more that can be done?

Mike Proctor, Martial Arts Pro at Cooper Fitness Center has seen firsthand how teaching children martial arts can reduce bullying.

By teaching children martial arts, they learn self-defense and gain the confidence needed to stand up to a bully. They are also taught “they have a resource to talk to about their situation,” said Proctor.

To help prevent your child from being bullied, Proctor gives this advice to parents: first, spend more time with your children. Pay more attention to those for whom you are responsible and make your presence known. This also applies to adults who may be concerned that an elderly parent may be experiencing bullying by caretakers in a nursing or retirement home.

By developing relationships built on trust, children and adults who are being bullied will be able to overcome their fear of reporting bullying to an authority.

If you want to help your child learn self-defense and build up their confidence to resist bullies, or if you are experiencing bullying as an adult, Cooper Fitness Center offers martial arts classes to both children and adults. Watch a video here.

Through martial arts, both children and adults learn steps to get out of a bullying situation.

  1. Get away from the situation. If bullying is occurring online, turn off the computer and walk away.
  2. Get help. If someone has threatened you, report it to someone. This may be a parent, school authority, human resources, or manager at work. Many schools have anonymous hotlines available to students.
  3. Learn to deal with the fallout. Be tough and resistant to bullies. Just because you have successfully resisted a threat once doesn’t mean the bully won’t return to threaten you or someone else again. Don’t be worn down by their repetitiveness.

For more information and to register for classes or private sessions, click here or contact Mike directly at 972.233.4832, ext. 4428.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.