The overall concept of bullying awareness and prevention has been recently thrust into the forefront of the media, legislative bodies and school systems due to to the a progressive recognition of the debilitating and traumatic consequences of bullying. The issue has been polarized by two competing ends of the spectrum- On one side there are those who say that bullying is an overly intrusive issue that is a normal facet of adolescent life and should not be made into a large issue. Inversely, there is a viewpoint that bullying should be proactively prevented by any means necessary and addressed with extreme prejudice. The correct realization is that light teasing is a normal trait of immaturity and can be expected on certain levels simply as part of sociological development, yet what is not acceptable is repeated traumatic and malicious verbal and physical abuse. Recently, brazilian jiu jitsu was featured by the multiple media outlets as a popular type of martial art for self defense and particularly for the prevention of bullying. The use of martial arts can be incredibly proactive for the overall prevention of bullying. Not only can martial arts help develop self esteem, confidence, and self empowerment that will benefit and eventually transcend the individual’s current situation, but also permanently change their self perception for the better. Read more below…
Bullying can have severe repercussions upon the development of an individual and can lead to depression, violence, insecurity, low self value, and physical damage to the body. The fact is that these extreme barrages of physical and mental trauma can extend beyond adolescence and lead to individuals being perpetually pigeonholed into a social hierarchy. We like to think that social constraints and the norms of society will protect us at all times, but the fact of the matter is that there will always be individuals willing to violate another for their self gain. In response to this, one must realize that knowledge is power and the knowledge on how to defend yourself if the situation arises is one that can prove to be invaluable.
The particular choice of brazilian jiu jitsu is due to it’s lack of potentially damaging strikes and use of the implementation of submission locks to easily stop an opponent. By providing an individual with the knowledge of being able to defend themselves, they can stop an aggressor who would, in the case of extreme physical bullying, begin a potentially repeated trend of violence towards them. In order to prevent bullying, one must understand it. Bullies physically and verbally harass others to gain the satisfaction of dominating others to supplement their own insecurities. When the victim allows the bully to dominate them, this can begin a potentially progressive cycle of abuse. There is generally a fear of informing authoritative figures due to threats of increased abuse. When an individual is able to stand up for themselves, through the confidence and discipline instilled in them by martial arts, they are able to assist in breaking the cycle of bullying.
This is in no way a recommendation for physical violence or to create altercations. Simply a beneficial outlet for the mental and physical development of individuals. Martial arts are just one potentially viable option in an overall effort to curb abuse from bullying. The polarization of this issue is not beneficial to the issue or the situation, but the proactive efforts of all parties involved will create a collaborative benefit.
Most importantly, those who have experienced bullying must not allow this to negatively define them in any respect. Many professional athletes have publicly acknowledged being bullied in some way, notably UFC champion Georges St-Pierre and UFC fighter Jason Mayhem Miller. The key is not to allow the previous transgressions of others dissuade and deprive you of your motivation to achieve your goals.
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