We Don’t Tolerate Bullies!

We define bullying  as repeated aggressive action against another person.

A popular ideology is to work with both the bully and the victim to create a mutual respect, a bonding that will often dismiss the affect of the bullying on the victim and focuses on the state of mind of the bully.

Parents are reminded that bullies are often victims themselves and need to be understood and often this is true, however ‘healing’ the bully should not be at the expense of the victims safety, peace of mind and assurance children need to learn that it is okay to stand up for themselves.

Below are a few examples of bullying that have happened in schools to give you an idea of the type of bullying we are talking about.  It is often not an extreme attack,  bullies tend to pick away at the fibre of their victims over a period of time with repeated often unnoticed acts of aggression.

 

Thomas is overweight, asthmatic and short sighted.  During the summer months his allergies flair up and he is the sole reason for the nut ban at his school.  Thomas loves to read, and reads at a level well above his eight years but he doesn’t run well.  The other kids groan when he is put on their teams.  He spends his lunch times between the library and the empty friendship bench.

Jack and Aidan don’t like books so much.  Jack is good at making up names and rhymes  to torment Thomas.  Aidan echoes Jacks voice, one on either side of  Thomas as they cross the quadrangle to class in the morning.  Then they may unecessarily squeeze past Thoma’s desk during class and accidentally knock his books to the ground.

Last Tuesday they followed Thomas into the boys room and threw wads of wet paper over the stall door, while taunting and shouting names.  It was towards the end of lunchtime and some other boys joined in.  A few climbed up onto the toilet in the stall next door to peer over the wall to witness Thomas crying with clumps of toilet paper stuck to his hair and clothes.  It  continues for ten minutes, it isn’t stopped until the bell rings.  Thomas waits until the bathroom is silent before cautiously leaving the stall. He pulls the paper from his clothes and hair and  puts them in the bin.

toilet 1

When he returns to class the other boys snigger,  his teacher scolds him for being late, and asks Thomas to stay after class.  Later when Mr Reilly asks why Thomas was late from lunch Thomas says nothing and stares at his feet.

Are the other boys giving you a hard time?’ Thomas nods his head and talks into his chest ‘they call me names sometimes’

‘Anything else?’

Thomas shakes his head. ‘Not really’

‘Well names aren’t nice, maybe you should tell them how you feel, that it hurts your feelings. Sometimes it is helpful to not respond, you know pretend you didn’t hear them, that it doesn’t matter?’

Liane is playing a game of mixed soccer on the oval at lunch time. She scores another goal and two boys on the other team chase her down.  One trips her over, the other grabs her Bully 4so she falls into him and he punches her across the face.  She falls to the ground as the other boy takes an opportunity to kick her hard in the stomach. The teacher on duty didn’t see 9 year old Lianne a being taken to the staff room by two of her teammates.  Her parents are called, the boys are ‘spoken’ to and sent home with a bad behavior note.

 

Eleven year old Alistair walks ten minutes home from school everyday.  For the last two weeks  Paul, Alan and Ted wait at the school gate and take it in turn to punch him hard in the arm  and sometimes a flick across the back of the head.  Teachers and parents are always close by.  Alistair has bruises on his arms.  He prayers everyday for rain so that he doesn’t have to walk home, constantly nagging his mum to pick him up he complains that he is too tired to walk home after school.

 

So What happens at school?

School policies across the country vary, but the majority  promote a no tolerance to bullying,  however it is often reported that little is done or can be done within the limited framework and resources across our schools to affect a serious change.  It is true that often the bully is hurting and needs to be healed but this should never be to the detriment of protecting and caring for the bullies prey.  Situations where the victim is made to shake hands with his bully and not acceptable.  It is not okay to tolerate being treat abusively by another human, not matter the age or theatre.  Often times bullies are created at home, so there is little a school can change without the support and cooperation of the bullies parents.

Schools  do not always have the capacity to deal with every personality defect that is presented to them.  Bullies need help to see the error of their ways this is true, and I support the schools in their programs that try to do this but in the meantime, Alistair is still getting punched in the arms every day when he exits the school gate, Liane doesn’t play sports on the oval anymore, Thomas has been getting a lot of tummy aches lately.  All while the bully, the cause of their miseries carries on with their life as normal.

How Karate for Life can Help?

It is true that there is no first strike in Karate.  Karate students are taught this from the beginning.  The first move of all our Kata is a block, a defense against an attack.  Karate is not about kicking and punching it is about becoming who you are and feeling confident enough to say NO! Children do not have to tolerate being hit or abused by anyone not even another child.  The few examples giving above are stories we hear again and again in the dojo.

When asked about what action was taken at school all too often a parent will roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders in repeated disbelief and reply ‘nothing’.

You have seen the ads; karate builds confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, self-reliance and self-awareness.  There are a lot of ‘self’ in there because of the individual nature of karate training,  each student  develops at their own pace.

So they come to us, either through a referral,  or parents  desperately winging it looking for a solution  happen to stumble across our dojo.  Sensei Don our principal instructor lets his students breathe, to be who they are and to stand up and be counted.  No one is left in the background, every single person in that dojo is shown the respect and friendship they deserve.  This I believe is the true cure for bullying.  When people believe that they are worthwhile,  they don’t  act like arseholes to get the attention, respect and approval they crave.  On the other side students learn that you don’t have to tolerate the above mentioned arseholes who believe they have to push others down in order to elevate themselves.

As well as the above mentioned, Karate  builds compassion, resilience, kindness, humbleness, community and spirit.  This is the true defense against a bully, against all bullies in our society.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why Kids Need Karate in 2017

 

In the age of instant gratification, everyday rewards and entitlements Karate teaches us that persistence, respect and humility are the ways forward.  As parents we want the best for our kids and we want our kids to be able to achieve their best.  We want them to be the best version of themselves.

The following list is compiled of the six attributes Karate training in the right dojo will promote in your child.  They only have to turn up, walk through the door and listen.

  1.  Confidence:  Walking through the door on that first day takes courage, curiosity and maybe a little push dappled with parental assurance.  New experiences get easier to approach in time and while the fear never goes away completely, the more times you put yourself in a new situation the more coping mechanisms you build.  Kids learn instinctively that they need to make eye contact, start a conversation, simply smile. Making friends greatly improves all new situations and this is just in the beginning, wait until you see what learning new techniques,  mastering complicated routines and achieving the next phase in their syllabus will do.
  2. Focus: Classes usually run for an hour at a time and are often made up of drills, partner work, group work and solo training.  What a student gets from his class depends on the time actually spent being mindful in the dojo and their ability to do this will increase with practise.  It is a skill they can develop and that will automatically be transferred into all other areas of their lives.
  3. Self-Discipline:  This starts with  getting ready, looking after your gi and equipment, walking through the door and turning up to class, even when it is too hot, or too cold and your favourite show is on the television.
  4. Self-Defense: A common reason to start training but it is not the be all and end all of a students achievement in the dojo.  Rarely do karate students need to defend themselves, they learn to avoid dangerous situations, to take care to themselves and importantly they learn how to behave in situations so that they do not escalate.
  5. Leadership: As a student progresses through the ranks they become a role model for new and younger students.  A good club will encourage students (under guidance) to share their knowledge with others to improve the development of everyone within the dojo.
  6. Respect:  “Karate starts with etiquette and finishes with etiquette”   K Tomiyama,  Fundamentals of Karate-do (1990) p15.  Shihan Tomiyama goes on to write more about rei – a bow or more broadly etiquette [that]”.. signifies the utmost importance of proper etiquette in karate.  Not only karate but all Japanese martial arts stress the importance of proper etiquette as a means of self-defence ……….. A person of good etiquette possesses an aura of dignity and quite naturally gains respect from those he is in contact with.  Thus there is much less chance of his being involved in arguments and being forced to defend himself physically.  This teaching does not stop there,  the real aim of practising the martial arts is to develop a complete person, fit physically and mentally, which is consequently beneficial to society...” p15

For more information visit  Karate Kwinana

Is Karate Right for Your Child?

Do you wonder if Karate is right for your child?    Our junior Karate program is designed to help kids grow into strong, vibrant adults who can navigate the challenges of growing up outside of the dojo.

10 Benefits of Karate for Kids:

  1. Without raising a fist your child will learn how to deter a potential bully.  
  2. Karate is a self paced activity. The dojo brings together all levels of training and each student is encouraged to advance to the next level at their own pace.
  3. Confidence.   We have heard many stories over the years from parents of our students about how their child is more confident outside the dojo and is performing better at school. 
  4. Karate is a year round sport – (with the exception of school holidays). Your child will learn and train consistently throughout the year, and I promise you that there will be no early morning muddy field, rainy day events for you to attend at our dojo.
  5. Our instructors understand how to talk to children to bring out the best in them when they feel challenged
  6. We are facing an obesity epidemic.  Kids need to move and if not in the dojo then elsewhere just please keep them moving!    Karate is not a weight-loss class but it will help your child to improve their strength, flexibility and agility.  
  7. Karate is a family activity,  Mum and Dad can join in with the kids, younger brothers and sisters are welcome too.
  8. Knowing self defence is priceless.
  9. A dojo provides another community group that you and your child can interact in.  Being part of something is important at all ages.
  10. Karate is a life long pursuit of perfection,  just like life.  We all strive to be our best and of course we want what is best for our children too.

Kwinana Dojo offers free trials throughout the year.  Contact us now for details.