Bully Busting 101 Part 6- Martial Arts
When a child, teenager or adult is bullied, they often run to the nearest martial arts school. Too often, martial arts schools are: (1) incompetent; or (2) full of bullies who want to practice newcomers. Sometimes school is so hard, like many Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) schools that the newcomer is over-wheeled. As one woman ‘s son once said to me, “You will push me beyond my limits!” before you ran out of the room. (Well, yes, it was my job to do that, but not to extremes.)
If you are bullied (or lost a fight) you need to commit to training, just like exercise, eating and sleeping. You have to go with the martial arts with the same commitment. An article in former world karate champion Chuck Norris once described a student who could only do six sit-ups and three push-ups. But, the student continued and eventually won a black belt.
Now the question is always, “what is the best martial art?” Short answer: all if taught correctly. I trained in a variety of styles, but I decided on western kickboxing as I was already fit from the army and running in the distance. Plus, it was just my kick button a few days earlier. I was determined to bring out my own kick-button, so I trained hard and worked on my strength. Within four months of training I was able to keep myself in the ring and win a confrontation. Within seven months, I had my first kick-boxing game (and won a Technical Knock Out (TKO)).
The quickest way to determine school competency is to look at the students. The instructor may be a great athlete, but not pass on their skills to their students. Hence, you might see a lot of nice, but very inappropriate, uncoordinated people. If they throw out, if they talk a lot and goof around, then you could be wasting your time. Same for long training sessions with little or no explanation.
Kick-boxing, boxing, hurling, judo, jujitsu, some forms of karate and other contact martial arts are highly dependent on physical conditioning. Some kwon do and karate tea training is controlled, but it may take longer to learn them than the contact styles. That’s why I recommend them to young, fit people who have the stamina and ability to recover from training to do “hard” martial arts. Internal forms of martial arts such as aikido and tai chi are in high demand, but less heavy physical conditioning is required.
But this is what people repeatedly confuse about the martial arts. Self-defense expert Marc Mac Young explains that the martial arts, martial arts and self-defense are separate. Unlike sparring martial art, fighting is never a fair one-on-one event. Attacks are often not fights, but ambush. In the army, we trained for ambush, raids and responding to being fed up. (The old charge went over an open field by an enemy out of fashion back in Napoleonic times.) This means that self-defense is capable of avoid the attack and see trouble coming before trouble begins.
So does this mean that martial arts training is useless?
Heck, no. Martial arts training is an awesome way to build some useful skills for use in combat or self-defense, along with fitness, health and self-discipline. Self-discipline enables a person to avoid being hurt by insults or drawn into an argument or fight. The martial artist has the patience and confidence trained to avoid trouble. They will usually walk straight and unmarried and will often have confidence in it. This makes the bully think twice about attacking someone he trusts.
After three months of consistent training, the trainee tends to be physically fitter and healthier. After six months, they are mentally stronger. After a few years of training, the martial artist finds that self-discipline moves to other areas of their lives and is able to handle situations at school, work, and at home. The person with the self-discipline and determination will be able to ignore disadvantages, insults and jeers from low-level people.
The trick is to keep training for the rest of life, work, school and, yes, some bullying. That, my friend is the hardest part. That’s what keeps you going when family, friends and institutions (like schools) fail. Chuck Norris asked him to develop inner strength.