Let’s get right to the point. Everyone has his or her own personal story of being bullied.
We all know about the terrible violence bullying has created; we have seen the escalating statistics; we have witnessed on TV shootings by children in our schools; we have read of children taking their own lives because they were “picked on;” we are aware that it’s just not “boys will be boys” but that girls can also be bullies as well as victims; we know about the negative effects of TV, video games, and “action” films that contribute to this type of violent mentality; we understand that abuse at home can contribute to bully and victim behavior; we are aware of the effects of bullying not only in our children’s lives but, when left unattended, the effects of it domestically, socially and globally as we have seen dramatically in terrorism.
There is no need to repeat what we already know. Getting to the point means that we take action to end this violence, to create successful programs on conflict and bullying that work! Because what we have now are solutions that either come too late or do not address the problem completely. This is why you will still read so many articles on violence and bullying because what is being generally advocated doesn’t work!
So what can we do? What does work? And who is going to do something for our children to protect them from being bullied?
Let me ask you what you think:
- How many of you realize that bullying is not being addressed successfully in schools where it happens?
- Who can children and parents turn to for real solutions to this urgent problem?
- Who already has some of the skills needed by young people to cope with bullying?
- How many of you realize that there is now abundant funding for programs on bullying for those who can address it?
- How many of you know that many states in the U.S. are now legislating action for anti-bullying/conflict resolution programs? How many of you are willing to spend less than $200 for an internationally acclaimed, award winning anti-bullying program that has many years of success in helping young people understand and resolve conflict peacefully – one that really works?
I am obviously talking about you as martial arts school owners and instructors and what you can do to help children, your school and community address the #1 issue in the U.S. and the world today.
Parents want you to help them! Kids want you to help them! Schoolteachers and administrators want kids to be helped but don’t have the time! Counselors want kids to learn how to avoid being bullied so they don’t have to pick up the pieces for those that have been bullied! Society is crying out for solutions! And we as martial artists have a way to help. But this means that we need to rethink who we are and what we do. We need to restructure our programs to make time to address this issue. We have such a tremendous opportunity in the martial arts to help kids cope with conflict! What else is the martial arts for?
In the case of bullying I guess it takes time for us to recognize the need, and then to see that we can do something about it and then want to learn the skills to deal with it. It did for me. It took me many years after I was so terribly bullied as a kid before I realized that I could do anything about it and then more years until I came up with a program like the Bully Buster System™ that really worked. So I guess that we are all alike in that change sometimes is slow in coming. But when it gets to that point when it is really threatening we are quick to action. And action is what we need now.