Stemming The Tide Of Bullying

Martial Arts tend to get a bad reputation in media. Generally the only time we hear about martial arts in the media is when there has been a violent incident involving someone losing control or a fatality. Such a thing will eventually obscure the perspective of how people view martial arts.

Perhaps these new hyper aggressive arts have some part to play in things however Chinese Martial Arts have always been based in the idea of benevolence. Though the art form is martial in nature (to do with war), it is simply a point of focus to prepare the mind for greater understandings of the world. This relates back to the body mind concept where doing a physical activity helps to improve and focus brain function.

Bringing it back from a philosophical stand point, martial arts can be used to stem the tide of bullying that is occurring. This is not just for the victim but also to assist the bully to see why their actions cause harm to others.

A recent research study done in Hong Kong divided school children into several groups that included physical activity (control group), martial arts, philosophy and martial arts with philosophy. This research concluded that students who were exposed to the martial arts while being guided on when to use it (philosophy) ended up showing overall less aggression towards other students. The younger minds found it easier to relate lessons of philosophy when linked to physical movement.

This research is a positive step toward showing two things:

1) Martial Arts must be taught with the proper philosophy to ensure a true understanding of the art.

2) Exposing school aged children to a proper martial art can help them stand up against bullying while also teaching those with aggressive behaviour how to better channel their energy.

It stands to reason that if we manage to eliminate bullying mentality from an early age then it would not carry on into adulthood (psychoemotional trauma aside). A worthwhile endeavour through both the learning of martial arts and a greater push for emotional intelligence (recognising, understanding, verbalizing and respecting feelings).

Consider martial arts much like another language – you may never need to use it but it comes in handy should the situation arise. Much like any life skill, you must learn it and practice it diligently to become fluent.

Those who are interested may read the full research article here:

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