When you look through the windows of our martial arts studio, you will see students working the action phase of a conflict – punches, kicks, and techniques designed to stop a physical threat. However, what you’re really watching is the growth of the confidence those skills instill in our students. A strong foundation in the martial arts gives children the ability to resolve and diffuse conflicts with their words instead of their fists. As Patrick Lyons, one of our Jr. Black Belt student instructors, describes it, “the first thing ever taught in Kenpo, whether or not the student realizes it. One’s first ever class [and every class] starts with the front position: right hand in a fist and the left palm over it. This symbolizes how you have your weapons learned from karate, your right hand, but they are covered and are only used when absolutely necessary, symbolized by your left hand. Words are always the way to go even if using my karate may be easier”.
He’s right, throwing a punch is easier than offering friendship to the bully calling you names. Kicking a bully is easier than controlling your anger and frustration, telling them to stop, and warning them to stay out of your personal space when you’re being grabbed or pushed. There are times when fighting back is necessary, required, and the right thing to do when standing up for yourself or others, but, knowing their strikes will hurt and injure their opponent, our students learn to lead with kindness. Their words are the bully’s best option. Competence builds confidence.
Join us at DHAC Martial Arts, Monday, October 1st and #blueup for our World Day of Bullying Prevention Open House, ages 4-6, 4:00-4:45 pm, and ages 7-11, 5:00-5:45 pm. Come and learn the verbal and physical skills to combat bullying.
-Cynthia S., Assistant Martial Arts Director at Dedham Health