with Grant Buchanan of Mile High
Karate and Youngforest Tai Chi
As the Senior Instructor at Mile High Karate I am constantly dealing with the victims of bullying and helping those who are bullied is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career in Martial Arts.
Amongst last week’s new students was the classic intelligent, caring child a little over weight (substitute for smartest ,prettiest, new to school, parents separated, tallest ,shortest, slowest) who is getting hell at school from bullies.
Probably the worst part of meeting these kids is the Mums who are choking back tears as they talk about the bullying and the effect it’s having on their child. Bullying the act of physically, verbally or physiologically intimidating another person is at its most potent and dangerous for the young and that’s were it’s commonplace.
Fear is the source of a bully’s power and without inducing fear in others the bully has no power. Bullies seek victims who lack self-confidence so they can exploit their weaknesses and break their spirit. A child’s inability to stand up to bullies is rooted in a profound fear for their personal safety.
Victims know they must confront the bully and would like nothing more than to stand up to them but they simply can’t follow through due to fear of the physical harm this will lead too. And here in lies the big problem – how do we instil the confidence to look the bully in the eye and back them down?
Leading child psychologist and bullying researcher Dr Suzy Lipkin states “in 50% of cases a strong ‘No’ will stop a bully in their tracks.”
So how do we build that steely determination? Well it’s simple really, teach the victim how to deal with the physical confrontation and the rest will follow. It’s all about self-confidence , you wouldn’t expect your child to instinctively know how to swim if they fell into water.
To give your child self-confidence grounded in the knowledge that no child can harm or intimidate them is a priceless gift with the potential to shape their entire lives.
Grant Buchanan is a 6th degree Black Belt, Father of four and Principal Instructor for Mile High Karate in NZ.