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

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