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Anti-Bullying Week 2015: How taking a Martial Arts class can help young people fight bullying

18th November 2015

Anti-Bullying Week 2015: How taking a Martial Arts class can help young people fight bullying
In case you didn't already know, this week is National Anti-Bullying week 2015 across the UK. The aim is to raise awareness of the ongoing problems bullying causes and give young people the confidence to make a stand against it. To help educate teachers, parents and carers in how to deal with a situation where a child, possibly their own, is being bullied. To approach it in a way that is empathetic and caring. Many young people don't want to speak up about bullying out of fear that it will only get worse, but the fact is that if they are not given the appropriate support, the impact it can have on their life is far greater.

Here at Martial Arts Near You, we believe in the positive influence that Martial Arts can have in situation such as this. How it can teach you not to be afraid and show you how to stand up for yourself, in the right way. Martial Arts classes are a great way to learn self-defence, to become more assertive and confident. They can make a huge difference when being faced with a frightening situation. However before understanding how they can help, it's important to understand the scale of the problem in front of us.

Did You Know? Bullying - The Facts:

'Ditch The Label', an award winning Anti-Bullying charity conduct research each year into bullying each year. Here are some of the key findings from 2015:

  • 50% of young people admit to having bullied another person.

  • 69% of young people have witnessed bullying, 43% of those say they see it at least once a week.

  • 43% of young people have suffered from bullying. 98% of those people were bullied by another student. 17% by a sibling, 13% by a teacher and 8% by a parent.

  • 74% have been physically attacked. 62% cyber bullied and 17% sexually assaulted.

  • 29% of those who were bullied self-harmed, 12% ran away from home.

  • 51% of young people who are bullied cite appearance as the number one aggressor. Consequently, 47% of young people want to change the way they look.

  • 45% of those people who were bullied DID NOT report it. 32% thought they wouldn't be taken seriously, 32% felt embarrassed, 26% were scared of the bullying getting worse.

Those are pretty scary statistics. In the most recent census (2011), people aged between 10 and 19 made up 12.1% of the whole population. That was at the time, over 7.6 million people. That means over three million young people have suffered from bullying. Three MILLION.

How can Martial Arts classes help?

The question is, how can Martial Arts help tackle this? What can it teach that can prevent bullying. Well truthfully, Martial Arts can't stop a bully picking on someone. However what it can do, is help the victim defend themselves. To be confident, stand up to their bully and say “No! I won't be bullied anymore".

The main aim for a Martial Arts instructor of an Anti-Bullying class is to help recover the confidence that the young person will have lost as a result of the bullying. Making them believe in themselves will go a long way to aiding the prevention of further bullying. They will be taught how to deal with it both psychologically and physically. Not only will it increase confidence, but it will teach a young person how to be more aware of their surroundings. The responsibility and respect taught within Martial Arts is also an important component. Just because you know how to deal with a bully, it doesn't mean you should then go and roundhouse kick them in the face. It's about being disciplined.

Bullies usually seek"easy targets", people they know won't stand up to them. The unfortunate nature of bullying is that in 74% of cases, it is physical. Sometimes it might be pushing and shoving, other times it might be more serious. However basic self-defence techniques can help prevent this. A series of blocks, holds and effective strikes can be taught to help stop and oncoming attack.

How do I find a Martial Arts Class?

The important thing with bullying is addressing it early. The longer it goes on, the more psychologically and physically damaging it can become. So being part of a Martial Arts class can help address this from the onset and really make a difference.

Thanks to the growing media coverage and campaigning against bullying year on year, anti-bullying classes and self-defence classes are becoming far easier to find. There are hundreds of Martial Arts Clubs and instructors across the UK on Martial Arts Near You.

To find an anti-bullying class, visit the Martial Arts Near You homepage and use our class finder tool to search your postcode to locate classes in your local neighbourhood. There are many different types of self-defence, Krav Maga classes are becoming very popular in recent years, but traditionally Karate classes and Jiu Jitsu classes are the most popular when it comes to learning how to defend yourself.

Once you have found a self-defence class or anti-bullying class that suits you, just get in touch with the instructor and have a chat to get more information about what it covers and what you, or maybe your child could learn.
Source: Martial Arts Near You