Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Clark Kent

Once again and not for the last time I suspect, the  spectre of bullying has cast a shadow over our society. This contagion is not just limited to our own localities but is omnipresent in society in general. Over the years I have been approached by many individuals who have attracted the  unwanted and unwarranted attention of bullies.I have always advocated the use ( initially) of non violent methods in order to extradite oneself from a potentially dangerous or life threatening situation.Of course bullying takes many forms and is not just confined as we know ,to a physical assault  Please visit my blog on bullying Wicklow Bully Project
However some bullying enters the physical realm.Here the rules are quite simple. You survive, initially. Then you tackle the problem.Now what is surviving  ? Well either you run, enlist the help of another, tell a figure in authority, verbal dissuasion skills or, if the aforementioned fail or are not  an option then you have to switch , very quickly, to plan B.
Plan B ? Well plan B is where you give yourself the permission not to have to take it any more  At that moment you must switch from being mild mannered Clark Kent to becoming Superman. 
It can be done. No one said it was going to be easy right? But, with the correct training, physically and mentally ,you can achieve this.
Your training must reflect the purpose for which is is intended. Remember Martial arts are not ( necessarily ) self defence. Consider this in your training and seek out those teachers with the skill sets to help you in your specific situation..

For help and advice on dealing with bullying contact Alan Ellis on 089-4567533

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Kids Bully Kid's Right ? Its Only Natural Isn't It?

Kids bully kids. Its only natural isn't it. If we leave them to it then it'll all work out.After a while they'll be pals again and it'll be like nothing ever happened. Have you ever heard that one ? The theory, that if we, as adults, step aside and let kids "sort" it out then all will resolve itself.

Wicklow based self defence and martial arts instructor Alan Ellis has heard it too." In over forty years of martial arts training and teaching I've been approached many times by parents whose kids are being bullied" Ellis has sometimes been taken aback by the requests he's received. " Many parents would like me to teach their kids to take the bully out" he says., " And I mean really take them out"

These requests Ellis feels have come from parents who are at their wits end in trying to cope with an issue that has fast gotten out of hands. The philosophy of "leaving kids to sort it out"  is one that has become increasingly popular. The overriding feeling is that the strongest or more ( skilled) will prevail. This can lead parents to Ellis' studio door . "As parents, our foremost basic instinct is to protect our children and to ensure their safety" "When they are threatened or harmed our natural inclination is to protect them " remarks Ellis.

Seeking this "protection" has led many to seek Ellis' skills in physical self defence. While not dismissing the effectiveness of those defence tactics, Ellis is keen to point out that employing them is a last resort.

"The prevailing image is one of the bully being soundly trashed by  his victim after he, the victim has taken some Karate tuition. This has been reinforced by countless Hollywood  movies"

While if push comes to shove, decisive action must be taken, Ellis believes that another more holistic , informed approach must prevail.

" At our school Motivational Martial Arts we teach students and parents how to really deal with bullying issues" says Ellis. " This approach involves education, community activism, bully projects and mindful living"

" If we simply teach kids to react to or physically defeat the bully then we have failed to truly educate the child in making a positve difference in society"

In the main , martial arts schools pay only lip service to bully education and to teaching their students how to actively address and resolve the problem while laying down markers for their peers and those who will follow. As community leaders martial arts teachers have a duty to their students and communities to provide effective solutions, particularly if they advertise themselves as" experts" in this field.

Much of the current climate of retribution crime has Ellis feels, its routes firmly in the play ground, sports fields and local communities. "We need to find as way to move forward and to truly learn from mistakes made in dealing with issues such as bullying. Self confidence and mutual respect can only breed from a nourishing  environment. A new approach from teachers and coaches will ultimately I hope facilitate this"

If you have been effected by bullying or if you are a parent whose child has suffered Alan Ellis can be contacted at 089 456 7533 or by email aemartialartist@gmail.com

His Wicklow Bully Project  community website is here Wicklow Bully Project

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Wicklow Bully Project

  • Wicklow Bully Project

    Wicklow Bully Project is an initiative to address the incidence of bullying in County Wicklow. As a martial artist for over forty years and having taught martial arts in Wicklow for twenty years, I have come across many stories and incidence of bullying. Many of my lessons took place in schools and colleges throughout County Wicklow and at times I found it quite alarming to hear first hand from school kids , accounts of how they were victims of bullying. Likewise at my local classes I had often been approached by students who were suffering from the adverse attention of bullies.

    Perhaps more disconcerting was the fact that school authorities and sometimes parents seemed to be struggling to address the situation. In many cases the victims felt  that they had no one to confide in and if they did broach the subject with an adult in authority the feeling of the victim was that nothing much would be done. Hence in many cases  the bullying continued.

    As a martial arts teacher I was regularly approached by parents to help their children deal with bullies. Martial arts were viewed by these parents as a method of handling bullies. The perception was/is that training martial arts automatically ensures “protection” for the victims of bullying. This view is propagated by the martial arts industry advertising “anti-bullying” strategies. Terms such as ” confidence” or “self esteem” are regularly used as counters to the attentions of the bully. Of course confidence and self esteem are desirable traits yet without much more understanding and education plus a concerted effort and work ethos these attributes alone are not enough to help in dealing with bullies.
    Of course as a martial artist I  have also taught/teach the physical defensive tactics of protection. However resorting to this is not desirable on a number of levels. There are many strategies that one can apply in place of a physical response. Once physical defence has been employed, its fair to say that other methods may have failed or in many case not ever been implemented. If, ultimately every strategy is deployed and despite this the student is still in imminent physical danger of actual bodily harm then and only then may it be appropriate to utilise the physical defence methods. I always point out to my students that this action is a last resort as it has consequences. Injury may be caused , psychological consequences , social pressures, accusations of being a bully while defending against a bully ( yes its happened). Therefore a much more holistic approach to the subject of bullying is required. The subject needs to be brought far beyond what is traditionally offered by martial arts schools.

    In general most martial arts schools will aim to teach and develop confidence and self esteem. They will try to do so with integrity . However , one needs to ask how this is done.How do martial arts schools go about educating their students in relation to bullying and many other topics. What methods are employed in creating community based projects which students are involved in. Are they encouraging leadership projects and taking these philosophies out of the dojo and into the world?

    My mission is to build a resource which will curate information and educational tools in helping to increase awareness of bullying and how to address it. This resource “The Wicklow Bully Project” will be a resource available to students of my school and also to the local community in Wicklow.

    Members of the public can view a selection of blogs and educational videos and I will curate  contact details of local and national bodies involved in the subject of bullying.

    Members of my martial art school in Wicklow will , as part of their curriculum educate themselves in relation to the subject and also learn to become activists in helping eliminate bullying.

    For more resources go to : http://flavors.me/wicklowbullyproject

    I am available at any time to help in relation to any aspect of this subject. I may be contacted on
    089  456 7533 or by email aemartialartist@gmail.com

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Bully Project

 Click the link below to be directed to our pages.

For further information please contact Alan Ellis 0n 089-4567533 or email aemartialartist@gmail.com
More information at
 Motivational Martial Arts
Wicklow Bully Project

The purpose of this project is to gather resources which can help educate children and parents in how to address the subject of bullying in our schools and community in the Wicklow area. Our aim is to continually develop and improve our Anti Bullying Program so as we can all become activists for change. The incidence of bullying in our communities is increasing alarmingly. The more information and resources we gather the better we are able to combat this problem. Our information will be available to all members of this site and we encourage you to share that information with other parents/students.

What is Bullying? Well, bullying is when an individual or group does or says something to gain power or control over another. Bullying has many forms and is unfortunately or the increase in our society. Research carried out by the Anti Bullying Research and Resource Centre Trinity College Dublin reported that 30.2% of students reported that they had been bullied at school in the previous two months. The same report showed that approximately 25% of students had admitted to bullying others in the same period.

For more information on anti bullying programs in Wicklow please contact Alan Ellis on 089-4567533
Or email aemartialartist@gmail.com

In order for us to address the problem of bullying its important to look at he various types of bullying that exist.

Physical Bullying
Psychical bullying can be when someone makes physical contact with another, such as hitting, kicking, punching , shoving etc. Destroying or taking the property of another could also be considered physical bullying.

Verbal Bullying
Can include threats of violence to another. Name calling, offencive remarks about a person's ethnicity ,gender or religion are also forms of verbal bullying.

Cyber Bullying
Considered by some to be the latest form of bullying cyber bullying involves sending hurtful or abusive messages over the Internet or on mobile phones. Ridiculing others on social network sites or posting offencive comments or videos are also forms of cyber bullying.

Social Bullying
This is when an individual is let out of regular social activities within their peer group. For example if some one is left out o games or activities,or, had bad things said about them.

Mental Bullying
Mental bullying s when someone intimidated. This can be through a variety of means and can include other methods of bullying such as cyber bullying for example.


 Motivational Martial Arts