Excerpt from: http://www.violencepreventionworks.org
Answer: One of the main characteristics of bullying is an imbalance of power; therefore, it cannot be considered “normal” relational conflict between two students. Bullying is a form of peer abuse.
The student who is being bullied needs to be protected from such victimization. [Phil Duncan: Unfortunately, the reality is that often the target of bullying may be the only one who can protect themselves and Soo Bahk Do® training can help prepare them to do so.]
The student or students who bullying others must be helped to stop their destructive behavior.
It is clear that conflict resolution and/or peer mediation strategies can serve a positive role in building a safe school climate when used with conflict situations.
Conflict resolution or peer mediation strategies, however, should not be used to address bullying problems because:
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Learn more about what your state is doing to prevent bullying:
History reveals time and time again how entire countries have been overrun and the populace then bullied - often to death - by those who breached their borders.
The unfortunate events that unfolded in those overrun countries may have been different had more of the population been equipped to confront and diffuse bullying behavior before it transformed into war, societal oppression and even genocide.
Today in America bullying has become an epidemic in our society and we see more and more evidence of parents, schools, universities, churches, governments, etc. adopting policies they hope will minimize bullying behavior.
Unfortunately, policies are no better than those who have the ability and courage - or lack thereof - to enforce them and those charged to prevent bullying cannot do so if they are not present to witness and intervene in bullying incidents.
When victims succumb to bullying behavior because they feel they have no other recourse, the bully inflicts a feeling of helplessness and shame upon the victim and often infects the victim with a feeling of cowardice; a stigma that the victim many carry with them their entire life.
Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.
~ Mohandas Gandhi
The bottom line is that bullies are most effectively stopped by the intended victim.
When a victim is able to effectively diffuse, or if necessary, defend against bullying behavior rather than passively submitting to it or allowing it to continue and even escalate, then the bully can be defeated.
While it is often true that unfortunate circumstances in the life of a bully are factors that drive the bully to engage in their errant behavior toward others, those circumstances in one person's life do not justify their infringement upon another's life.
In some cases the bully may even be a person in a position of authority or trust who abuses the power of their position. Bosses, co-workers, teachers, coaches, clergy and others can be adult bullies who take advantage of those entrusted to their supervision or care.
A warrior may choose pacifism; others are condemned to it.
~ Author unknown
What can be done to prevent bullying?
Many schools of thought exist about how to address the root causes of bullying, but unfortunately the scope of many of those well-intended solutions seek institutional change or societal change over years or decades and provide little or no help for those who are currently being bullied and who will be bullied tomorrow and the days thereafter.
The Soo Bahk Do® martial art is ideal for anyone who wants to learn superior conflict resolution skills or personal self defense skills or just be more prepared should a bully or assailant come unexpectedly into their life or the life of someone they care about. Soo Bahk Do® is equally suited for individuals of all ages with any and all physical capabilities or disabilities.
Certainly, understanding bully behavior and factors that drive it - or deter it - can help provide one with a strategic advantage by helping one to be educated and mentally equipped to deal with a bullying encounter and/or the bully.
"Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground ... These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard." The Book of Five Rings
For those interested in reading and learning more about bullying, the United States Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation® wiki provides links to some excellent educational resources about bullying. Today another one has been added from Learn Psychology at the request of Dominic Silva-Martin, Chief Communications Officer of
Learn Psychology who states:
"Highlights of this guide include:
- Extensive resources to help those dealing with a bully, as well as resources that school administrators can utilize
- Expert advice from Jonathan Fast, author of “Beyond Bullying: Ending the Cycle of Bullying, Shame and Violence
- Specific bullying prevention strategies
We can't stop bullying from happening, but we can spread awareness and share resources for those dealing with a bully."
Moo Duk Kwan® certified instructors embrace strong core values and a philosophy that guides their instruction of the Soo Bahk Do® martial art system for the benefit of students of all ages. Surprisingly, physical prowess is often not the most needed skill to effectively diffuse bullying encounters or to stop a bully in their tracks; however, knowledge of effective self defense skills and the ability to apply them are definitely a critical secondary line of defense should other conflict resolution strategies fail.
Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
~ Theodore Roosevelt
I invite you to add your support to the efforts of Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructors who combat bullying everyday in our society and to explore the benefits currently being enjoyed by thousands of Soo Bahk Do® practitioners of all ages across the country by contacting a Moo Duk Kwan® Certified Instructor near you.
Summon your courage, your brave energy, your yong gi and refuse to tolerate bullying behavior.
Do our society a favor and take a stand against bullying when any opportunity to do so presents itself to you.