Does bullying still happen in this day and age? Unfortunately YES, here are just a few statistics taken from the NSPCC website:
- Bullying is the second most common reason for boys and the third most common reason for girls to contact Childline. It makes up 9 per cent of all counselling sessions (25,740 sessions in 2016/17).
- Bullying is the most common reason for children aged 11 and under to contact Childline; almost 1 in 4 sessions with this age group in 2016/17 were about bullying.
- Physical bullying is the top bullying concern for children aged 11 and under; peer pressure is top for 12–15 year olds and online bullying for 16–18 year olds.
So as martial arts instructors what can we do? Of course we can teach them to defend themselves if absolutely necessary, BUT, first and foremost we can teach ALL of our students to respect others. We try to instil great values and an ethos of respect and discipline. Confidence for the student that understands how to defend themselves is high. A student that may face challenges in a controlled sparring or competition environment will not feel the need to prove themselves and will be more likely to diffuse or walk away from a fight. They are more likely to stand up for others if he/she sees someone being bullied, as they have had discussions in class around anti bullying, and may have the self-confidence to speak out if they know something is wrong. Last month we held a self-defence, and anti-bullying evening with our current students and, as you can see in the picture above, invited REDMAN along. The students learnt how to defend themselves from a larger opponent, how to ‘break away and get away’, where to go to seek safety amongst other ‘mat talks’ around awareness, self-defence & anti-bullying topics. This week to coincide with Anti bullying week we are offering a free workshop for all members of the community on all of these subjects. I think REDMAN has been invited.
Our company is proud to be a member of the anti-bullying alliance
Chief Instructor – BMMA Chippenham