Bully busting

It’s been in the news. Kids of all ages, even the recent Rutgers story of two college freshman. Bullies have a negative impact on all school kids. I get asked the ‘what do about a a school bully’ question at least once a month by concerned parents, whose children train at my martial arts school.  The experience kids and parents face today is that most schools do not handle the bully complaint. They talk to the bully, and hope it gets better, but it only gets worse for the child whose bullied. Bullying can lead to many social problems, including suicide, violence, ect. We’ve all read the papers. We’ve seen the news reports. Today even girls bully each other. I provide the answer to the bullying question. Here are the things I consider when I answer the bullying question:

What  steps the parents have taken thus far.

I consider whether those steps have been effective.

I consider whether school officials have been notified and what was the result.

I consider the martial art skill and confidence of the student being bullied.

I ask what the parents want to achieve.

I ask the bullied student what he/she would like to achieve.

I ask what the result be if said bullied student slugged the bully in the nose.

I take all of these things and make a conclusion. Usually, by the time a parent comes to me they’ve tried to handle it by speaking to the parents of the bully and or speaking to the school system, and the situation has not improved, or possibly may have gotten worse.

When this is the case, usually said parents are ready for their child to stand up for themselves, and if that leads to a fight then so be it. Again, I only offer this solution when the parent request this solution.  If the victim of a bully shows the bully that he/she is not afraid and quite willing to go the distance, most bullies, being cowardly, will not engage in a fight, and will stop the bullying behavior. Bottom line- the bullying probably will not stop until his/her victim shows them that said victim is perfectly willing and capable of sending the bully home crying.

Generally, speaking we are a wussified society. Back in my day, schools did not handle bully complaints. So, you either dealt with it or you stood up for yourself. Fighting lead to a three day school suspension, but it was better than years of emotional and social torment. We didn’t have to worry about legal action or lawsuits back in the 80’s and 90’s. Today, it is a consideration. I do know this- the bully will not stop tormenting unless someone makes it very clear he/she should stop. If the school and or the bullies’ parents cannot make the bully stop then the victim must take the situation into his/her own hands.  Most bullies are weak and cowardly. They have a mean bark, but lack inner strength and fighting knowledge. So, a trained martial artists should have the upper hand in a physical confrontation. Do not use this blog entry as a right to go and smash people at school. If you have a situation always speak to me first. I must evaluate your scenario before I give you the ‘stand up for yourself’ mantra.


Jett Garner Martial Arts