How Martial Arts Training Breaks the Cycle of Bullying in US White Tiger Martial Arts.
Hi, my name is Jin Won Kim,
Most parents expect that teaching children self-defense techniques will help keep kids safer from bullies. But that’s only a small part of what martial arts training does to prevent bullying. It can also teach life-changing skills to the bullies themselves (transforming them into “good citizens”) and bystanders (teaching them how to react when bullying occurs).
They’re Building Physical Strength
In my perspective, training in martial arts typically involves a variety of exercise, including cardio and strength-training. Students also build endurance by participating in class. Perhaps just as important, though, martial arts students learn how to carry themselves in a way that discourages bullying. The bully will prey on the child that seems to be walking with their head down, shoulders slumped, putting a child in a martial arts program where they can be constantly encouraged and in a place where they can achieve success – this can help them hold their head high outside the martial arts program,
In fact, they begin by teaching students to make strong eye contact and walk – tall and strong – before they progress to showing kids how to respond to verbal, then physical attacks. Taekwondo teaches you to be strong in your body and your mind, and this gives students a certain air of confidence that is evident to those who would mean them harm.
They’re Learning How to Be Good Citizens
In US White Tiger Martial Arts, you are expected to treat others with kindness and respect, help those in need, and do the right thing, no matter what. My staff was proud to report that one of our students recently stepped through a circle of kids to put her arm around a boy with physical disabilities who was being bullied. “She told them that he was her friend and not to pick on him, and then led him away, He told her this was the first time that anyone stood up for him. We could not be more proud.”
I, Jin Won Kim, refer to this type of intervention as being an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.” The problem with a being a bystander is that you’re standing by, doing nothing, Instead, kids need to know how to recognize bullying and report it to an adult. But telling kids is not enough. That’s why, during bully-prevention workshops, I have two kids role-play a verbal bullying situation, then instructs another child to stand up and tell the bully to stop. Then I have another do the same. And another. Saying those words can be harder than throwing a punch or a kick, kids have to role play this over and over so they will be able do it when necessary. Knowing what to do isn’t enough: It’s not in the knowing, it’s in the doing.
They’re Learning to Be Good Leaders
The biggest misconception is that martial arts training will make students more aggressive and more likely to engage in physical fights, while it may seem counter-intuitive, the opposite has been true in our experience.” In fact, Tori says that counselors have referred many “physically aggressive” kids to their school to help the kids channel their energy in a positive way. What’s more, martial arts instructors pride themselves on showing former bullies how to become a positive role model and leader. “We actually have several black belts who were once bullies who now help teach the younger kids,” says Tori.
In fact, a big focus of the curriculum at US White Tiger Martial Arts is on “leadership life skills.” Whether it’s discipline, confidence, courage, focus … those are skills that kids can use every day, sometimes people ask me if martial arts is a seasonal sport.
I say, ‘Is confidence seasonal? Is attitude?’ Kids are not going to use their self-defense moves every day, but the leadership skills, they will.”
Start Bully-Proofing Your Kids Today!
If you live in Rockville Maryland, take a closer look at the programs available at US White Tiger Martial Arts. I’m here to shape and make your child into great leader in the future.
Jin Won Kim
US White Tiger Martial Arts
5050 A Nicolson Ln
Rockville, MD 20852
P.S.: For a NO OBLIGATION, “No Strings Attached” offer for a FREE introductory martial arts class, click on the word “Programs” in the top navigation bar on this page and select the program you would like to try.