Ivan Trindade February 3, 2016. This article is published by and at www.graciemag.com
Bullying is a real problem in our society today. Left unaddressed, it can lead to serious consequences and sometimes, unfortunately, tragedies. It’s well known that Jiu-Jitsu can be a tool to help kids stand up to bullies, but how? Here are 7 reasons why the gentle art actually helps kids to deal with abusive colleagues.
1) Self-confidence repels cowards
A bully is a coward. He or she identifies those who lack self-confidence and prey on it. Jiu-Jitsu gives kids the self-confidence to stand up for themselves at the moment of the first approach, usually a verbal one. Once you know that you can defend yourself, you will let the bully know right away and they will usually back off.
2) An antidote to fear and insecurity
There are two main ingredients to bullying: fear and insecurity. The fearful is usually the victim and the insecure is usually the aggressor that seeks confrontation to hide their own feeling of weakness. The gentle art will teach kids to defend themselves when necessary and help them deal with fear. At the same time, it will address insecurity and help that aggressive kid to be more confident, polite and respectful.
3) Respect for differences
There’s no room for prejudice on the mat. As you have to actually prove yourself against all sorts of people, you quickly realize that we are all equal in our shortcomings and potentials. The difference lies on how much work we put in to neutralize one and boost the other. This notion will most likely accompany the child outside the academy as well.
4) The bonds of friendship
Bullies go after kids who have trouble making connections, feel different and don’t relate well o the group. Jiu-Jitsu will work as a mediator and help the child make friends. Being a contact sport, the gentle art is a channel to make everyone fit into the group. If you don’t fear the group, being part of it becomes much easier.
5) Self-esteem balance
Having low self-esteem is the gateway to an isolated, fearful and unhappy life. On the other hand, too much of it can turn you into a cocky obnoxious person, child or adult. Jiu-Jitsu will quickly give that issue the balance it needs so much. As kids win and lose, as we all do on the mats, they learn that it’s your actions that prove your value, instead of what you or others think of yourself.
6) Help for the parents
Nothing can replace a good upbringing by the kids parents. If a child receives the right values, he or she is on the right track to be a good person. Jiu-Jitsu will help with that, as it teaches the value of hard work, respect for others and the right way to deal with victory and defeat, pleasure and pain, reward and punishment.
7) Pressure release
Life is full of stressful moments for kids and adults alike. We all have to deal with little unpleasantries on a daily basis. Once again, Jiu-Jitsu will teach you how to deal with those less than peaceful moments of life. On the mat, the number one lesson you learn is how to deal with discomfort.