Bullying has become one of the most aggressive behaviors among young people today. The act of bullying is not only intentional, it is targeted and it can be physical, verbal, intimidating and can even spread to the Internet where it is called cyberbullying.
ATA Martial Arts academies across the country are taking bullying seriously and are implementing bullying prevention and education programs into everyday lessons. Caudill’s ATA Black Belt Academy in Warsaw held such an event Tuesday night. Robert Lee, assisting instructor and program director for the academy, initiated the class citing an incident that occurred on a Warsaw Community Schools bus last week. (See related story)
During Tuesday night’s lesson, children in martial arts classes learned how to defend themselves against a bully and how to serve as defenders in stepping up to help someone else who is being bullied. The program gave the kids hands-on experience in dealing with bullying.
Parents were also provided with a folder of information on signs of bullying, how to talk with educators about bullying, when to involve law enforcement and the effects bullying can have on children and young people.
“So what we’re teaching the kids is that it’s OK to be afraid, but they learn the life skill called courage to learn to act in the presence of fear,” said Lee, adding that it is important for children to share their bullying experiences with a parent or other adult. Lee said he hopes to work with area schools to teach the important skills on preventing bullying to children.
The class was a collaborative effort with Relentless Martial Arts Academy and Fitness Center, which sponsored the initial Bully Prevention Class on Oct. 16, and Caudill’s ATA Black Belt Academy.
To learn more about the ATA Martial Arts bullying prevention classes, see www.ATADefender.com.