Written by: Denise Tayanc
Unfortunately, bullying is a common issue faced by students and children of all ages and it can be a difficult subject to bring up with your child. However, there are several steps we can take to better prepare children to deal with bullies and confrontations. This article will go over these steps as well as how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training can keep kids from becoming targets and stop bullying that has already started.
Practicing situations that a child might encounter helps to better prepare them as well as understand how they will react. By role-playing some scenarios, you can teach your child how to deal with confrontation. If you are unsure how to proceed with role-playing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training is a great way to familiarize a child with a confrontational situation. Most of the fear comes from the unknown, and when we put ourselves in a stressful situation in a controlled environment, we are able to condition ourselves to react calmly and intelligently. Unlike other martial arts, jiu jitsu places a high emphasis on realistic training – using techniques in live sparring in order to test our learning and better develop our reaction time.
Knowing how to read body language and understand both verbal and non-verbal communication is key to avoiding a dangerous situation. Equally important is maintaining a calm demeanor and being able to stay composed. Martial arts requires us to be comfortable in the uncomfortable and teaches practitioners to focus on their breath and clear thinking in order to find the best way out of a situation. Knowing what your opponent will do or is capable of is key to success in jiu jitsu as well as in life. We learn to anticipate the next move and that knowledge allows us to direct the situation away from conflict.
Finally, if a bullying situation happens, it is important that a child can defend themselves and know the best way to rapidly de-escalate the situation. By teaching basic self-defense, a child will not only have confidence, but ability to navigate their way safely out of a confrontation. While learning techniques to submit your opponent are a last resort, it is the final defense against a larger, stronger, and more aggressive opponent and knowing proper Brazilian Jiu Jitsu technique can ensure that no one is injured and the situation is controlled until an adult can intervene.
One of the best ways to prepare a child is by enrolling them in a martial arts program. The benefits are commensurate with giving a kid confidence and ability to handle stressful situations. Also, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu puts emphasis on creating respectful citizens and not ruthless thugs. The jiu jitsu community is tight-knit and there is a focus on character building both on and off the mats – even the rules reflect the need for respect and being humble in victory. Knowledge is power and the knowledge gained through training BJJ translates perfectly to handling stressful situations, including bullies.