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Bullying In Schools: How Kids MMA Can “Bullyproof” Your Child

Back to school should be an exciting time — new teachers, new clothes, new school supplies and new friends. But for a child who is the victim of a bully, the excitement of a new school year is filled more with anxiety than anticipation. As a martial arts instructor,

(Left)Kathryn, Tia, Coach Chris, Summer, Kaley (Right)

(Left)Kathryn, Tia, Coach Chris, Summer, Kaley (Right)

I’m often asked by parents about the best ways to help their children to deal with bullies. While there are many approaches to the problem, I think one of the best ways is to instill self-confidence in your children. And Martial Arts is just one of many ways to do that exact thing.

Confidence can’t be taught; it comes only from experience.  No matter how many times I tell my daughter that she is amazing and how proud I am of her, it’s the experiences of overcoming odds and facing fears that builds her confidence.”

 

Mixed Martial Arts improve both physical and mental health. The obvious benefit of physical health improvement through exercise can give children a feeling of well-being. But Martial Arts also allow children to build confidence and self-esteem through goal setting, learning self-defense tactics, and making like-minded friends. For instance, if a child’s quest is to earn a black belt, he or she must take steps along the way and set individual, smaller goals to reach the final result. With each achievement, that child will feel more powerful and resilient.




Caiden and Tommy working on take downs to defend against an attacker. No bullying here.

Caiden and Tommy working on take downs

Children who understand self-defense positions, stances, and maneuvers because of martial arts often have a sense of preparedness when forced to be faced with bullying. They are more likely to be able to mollify a bully without having to resort to violence. Enacting responses on how to deal with a bully can often be helpful, and the Growing Gorillas’ program at Spartan Fitness teaches just that. In addition, the confidence this preparedness and sense of worth provided by martial arts training may even ward off bullies altogether.

Martial arts can provide skills for not only battling bullies, but for helping children not to become a bully.

Our programs can help stop the cycle of bullying by providing accountability and structure for children. If a child doesn’t experience discipline at home or at school, then he or she has the opportunity to do so through the training in our Kids MMA programs. It takes a particular kind of consistency and focus to be successful, and martial arts instructors do not allow for goofing off during class.

The confidence that martial arts instills in children can also benefit those who may be at risk for becoming a bully. The same way role-playing benefits those who have to deal with bullies, it will help children be prepared in case they feel like being angry or cruel. Martial arts also teaches the children to remain calm, as well as breathing in a calm manner to maintain composure. Most importantly, martial arts teaches children the importance of RESPECT: respect for the teachers, for other students, and for themselves. Learning how to respect all kinds of people may help reduce bullying behavior, and that is our main goal here at Spartan Fitness.

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