Kids are going back to school, so now is a great time to talk about bullying and how spending time on some martial arts mats with a skilled instructor can make the back-to-school experience less harrowing for your kids. There are plenty of great videos online to show you what you can expect of a class in defensive martial arts classes for your kids. They should give you some idea of what to look for in a studio near your home.
To augment what your kids will learn about defensive martial arts at the studio, consider investing in some martial arts mats for home use. It’s great to work with an experienced instructor once or twice a week, but to move toward mastery more quickly (and to be better prepared to handle bullying), extending that practice time at home is a must. As with any activity your child does, you want to make sure it’s safe, so the investment in some martial arts mats is going to encourage practice at home in a safe and controlled environment. You can even get involved, too!
Of course, physical bullying doesn’t occur on martial arts mats, but on pavement, in hallways and locker rooms, places where your child can’t rely on the protection of a padded floor. A good instructor will help your child learn to first protect herself, to act defensively if necessary, and to get away as quickly as possible. This is learned more easily in a safe environment, and when it’s ingrained in your child through repetitive practice, will launch itself almost automatically in a dangerous situation.
About 20% of bullying incidents result in physical confrontation, but if your child is prepared to handle bullying because they’ve learned the correct techniques from their trusted instructor on some safe martial arts mats and with the encouragement of their parents, the kids are likely going to lower that percentage simply because bullies don’t mess with kids who are confident and know how to handle themselves.