With children now in school it is an ideal time to discuss Bullying. What is it? How do you recognize it? How do you avoid it? And as a last resort how do you defend against it?
Bullying can happen anywhere and at anytime. In school, on the bus, in the playground, over a friend’s house, on the internet and on Facebook. Bullies can be any age. The can be individuals and groups. They can be male and females alike. Bullies usually have a lack of self-confidence in themselves and look for weaker people to push around to give them a sense of power. Ignorance and fear is another ingredient to bullying. When people do not understand the differences in others they become afraid and the result of that is being mean and aggressive towards those differences.
Using the R.A.D. system is a great tool in combating Bullies. R.A.D stands for recognize, avoid and defend. Using these 3 steps can help in most Bullying cases.
Step one-Recognize. Being able to recognize what bullies look for is a great way to deter the bullies from the beginning. Since bullies look for weaker people, do not show signs of weakness. Stand up tall and straight, don’t hunch or slouch. Look in peoples’ eyes when you talk to them. Speak in a clear and strong voice. Be confident in your actions.
Step two-Avoid. The first step to avoid a bully is to just ignore it. Name calling and screaming does not hurt you physically. They are just words. By ignoring the words and walking away takes away the aggressive reaction that bullies are looking for. Bullies want a confrontation. The second step to avoid a bully is to use a vocal response such as “Stop” or “Leave me alone”. If this is done a strong and authoritative voice, most bullies will just leave you alone and move on. The third step is to tell someone about the bully. You can tell a teacher, principal, a parent or an adult. Remember you are not being a coward by telling someone about the bully. You are actually demonstrating courage.
Step three-Defend. This is the last resort. However, it may come to this step. If a bully physically tries to hurt or attack you then you must defend yourself. You use your martial arts skills in the most effective way possible. Remember to first try to use techniques that will control or avoid the bully such as pushes, locks, sweeps and throwing techniques. Use your striking and hurting techniques as a last resort since this may cause serious injury and you may become responsible and held accountable for your actions.
Unfortunately Bullying is a real occorance that must be dealt with. By talking about it, making a plan of action and using the R.A.D. principle you will have a greater success of overcoming bullies.
Mark Russo, Amerikick
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