Bullying and How Karate Stops It!
Reprint of Sr. Master Greg Moody’s Op Ed Piece in the Arizona Republic Newspaper…
“Martial Arts is a Solution to Bullying!”
Bullying impacts as many as one in three children. Bullying isn’t just “kids being kids” but is a form of torture that can have the same long-lasting effect on kids as sexual and physical abuse. Bullied kids are three times as likely to develop headaches, are four times as likely to be unhappy, and eight times as likely to get seriously depressed.
Arizona State Law requires schools to have procedures in place to reduce bullying, but having procedures in place does not mean that they are working.
As a bullying prevention trainer, I get calls all the time from parents who want me to help them. I hate hearing from a mom or dad whose child is receiving daily, relentless physical and psychological abuse at a school where there seems to be no support for kids or their families. Bullying is national epidemic and finding ways to keep our kids safe and protected is difficult for parents, teachers and caregivers. Where do we start?
For years, martial arts schools have been touted as a solution for kids who are bullied. If we teach our kids to respect and protect themselves, they will be better able to deal with other kids at school, bullies or not. Unfortunately, we have never had data to back this up.
So, along with Arizona State University, we initiated research to find out whether karate helps, doesn’t help or whether it makes the problem worse. Over 200 kids and parents at American Taekwondo Association (“ATA”) schools in 17 states were surveyed.
The results were both conclusive and exciting:
We found out that kids who train in martial arts for an extended period get bullied a staggering 64 percent less than those who just got started. This is a better reduction than most programs that schools implement. In addition, it appears that karate kids bully others less, and 98 percent of the parents reported improvement in their child’s self esteem, making them better able to respond to the pressures of the classroom and the playground.
The ATA martial arts schools surveyed have specialized programs designed from the ground up and participated in a bullying prevention training developed by the ATA in consultation with the number-one school-based bullying prevention program in the world: The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. The kids learn tools and skills to avoid bullying without violence.
As the father of a ten-year-old and a karate instructor for more than 20 years I wanted to share this research. We, as parents need to take the initiative to keep our kids safe and happy. We need to be proactive and do something even if our kids are not being bullied yet. If you are thinking of protecting your child, martial arts has proven to be a great idea.
Sr. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D.
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About Dr. Greg Moody: Greg is a seventh degree black belt and senior master instructor. He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University. He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Sr. Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world