Something I heard said to many a bullying victim over the years has been, “You should take karate.” True, there have been many a case where a victim of bullying starts training in the martial arts and then the bullying stops. However, my question here is how long is the period of time between the moment the victim begins his very first lesson til when the bullying actually stops. There probably have been many instances where the victim goes to school after his first karate lesson, tells the bullies he is now learning karate and the bullies use that against him. Some, undoubtedly, now believe that learning karate isn’t going to save them from the bullying and give up.
I have a experience similar to what I just mentioned. When I was eleven, I started taking judo and I thought that it was going to deliver me from the bullies. Like the above scenario, I “bragged” that I was taking judo. This led to some of my bullies and there were many, wanting me to try to flip them or show them some judo move. A few weeks later, after being shown a few throws, I got into a fight with a boy who was much bigger and stronger and though I scored some initial success, in the end I still got my ass kicked. After the fight, I had to endure taunts about my judo not helping me. Unlike the above, I didn’t quit but continued for a few more months. There were a couple of things that eventually made me quit. One of those was that I didn’t seem to be doing the moves right and soon began to reach the conclusion that judo was just another thing I “stunk at.” The other was something the sensei said. He would often inform the class that if he caught any of us using our techniques in the street, he would kick us out of the club but not after teaching us some judo we’ve never seen before. With my Asperger’s, I had this huge anxiety that my sensei was lurking behind every corner and would come down on me if I used anything I learned. Even if I was justified in using it against a bully.
Now this is the part where I draw a parallel to “He Was Weird” and I did think about using it in the story. Especially since it would have been another way Mark tried to end the bullying which backfired. For some reason unknown to myself, I decided not to.
My conclusion here is there is no quick solution to problems. Training in the martial arts may be a great way to eventually overcome a bullying problem but it’s not going to happen with the very first lesson. Like all things, it takes time and it may be a very long time before the bullying victim has the skills and confidence to eventually strike back at the tormentors. I believe that if learning the martial arts, it might be a good idea if the victim or the parents explain to the sensei exactly why that child wants to undergo training. This way he or she can give assistance to their new student in helping them understand that the might not be able to deal with the problem after a couple of lessons and concentrate on the self confidence so they will be less of a victim.
Next post: An Addition to Do Teachers Encourage Bullying
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421960090&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird