Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Bullies? That's what kung fu is for!
Today in my English class I had to listen to debates about the bullying problem around the world. After listening for a of couple hours I came to realize that the ignorance about martial arts is evident in our social problems. My issues dealing with violent racism as a youth required me to confront bullies on a daily basis. All bullies used to be bullied themselves. Their insecurities become targets they seek in other weaker individuals.
Martial arts being the practice of daily refinement is the most obvious answer to the problem. Yes the teacher has a responsibility to the children to look after their safety. The reality is that no one can be around your kid 24 hours a day or be involved on their social networks. Parents have an obligation to teach their children about bullying, but they can not live their child's life for them. The child needs to understand that life is filled with dangerous situations and sometimes you got to dig yourself out on your own. It just so happens the universe has provided us the perfect tool for bullies, kung fu.
I say kung fu meaning all martial arts but you have to be careful using the word martial arts these days. Some people would tell you that martial arts is two guys in a cage beating each others faces in over money. No disrespect to gladiators, we all have to find a way to make money. Fighters use a lot of martial arts, but most fighters are not martial artist.
True kung fu first attacks the weakness within one's own character: laziness, fear, low self-steem and lack of strength. These flaws mold into traits that eventually act as a magnet to bullies. It is the essence of which the bully must feed on.
In China many families would take the weakest child to the temple to train for fear of his life. Maybe he was always sick as a baby or even picked on. They took him and left him on the temple stairs to be adopted by the monks so that they would train the weakness out of him. These sick babies usually turned out to be the most powerful masters. The advantage of being weak is that you understand the power of strength.
If you have always been strong then when training a technique you do not need to follow every detail to generate power. You use talent and muscle to make up for what you don't understand. Yet only starting as a weakling will you truly need every move to be perfect before you can generate power. The weakest will always become the strongest. Martial arts is a gift for the meek.
In a martial arts class the first thing that they will introduce to you is pain. Every stance, step, stretch and sparring session is going to be painful, but also it will be positive. Any child quickly gets used to the idea that getting hit is not so scary anymore. He will feel a confidence in his achievements and accomplishments. Martial arts will give him the ability to deal with his problems in many ways. The fact that a child would not admit to his parents that he was being bullied is an indication that he doesn't even have the confidence to speak up in his defense. And if push real comes to shove on the playground, bullies only want prey. They don't want a really fight.
On the flip side martial arts is also the solution for the bully himself. If he is in a style that utilizes his potential and worth while at the same time showing him the error of arrogance and pride. An art that gives him a true confidence along with peace of mind. So that when he wakes up in the morning he will feel to good about himself and his place in the world.