Kids Krav Maga and Bullying
Bullying is a nationwide epidemic with staggering statistics. Typically manifested through verbal and/or physical attacks, destruction of property, name calling, online abuse and intimidation, 55% of 8-11 year olds and 68% of 12-15 year olds say bullying is a problem for them.(1) Given these statistics, there is a good chance that it could be a problem for your child as well.
The Kid's Krav Maga program seeks to expose children to the core principles of Krav Maga through games, exercises, drills and other FUN activities. These activities develop their strength, balance and coordination, and improve their focus and discipline, and they gain a great sense of accomplishment out of it. These activities also help hone their instincts and make them more aware of their surroundings, allowing them to spot potential dangers early and avoid them. All of these lessons, in turn, translate into improved confidence and self esteem - traits that make them less likely targets for bullying.
Improved confidence and self-esteem also inspires assertiveness which would help them in preventing bullying behaviour by using verbal tactics and de-escalation. And because this is a Krav Maga program, the kids will learn effective self defense techniques to respond against a variety of threats and attacks. And while we don't condone fighting and we do encourage telling an adult, we also emphasize that ultimately, the responsibility for a child's safety and security rests squarely upon that child's shoulders - if they sense a threat from anyone or anything, they should act accordingly, immediately.
While the Kid's Krav Maga program is more of a life skills development course than it is a strict anti-bullying program, it develops attributes in your child that make it the perfect tool against bullying. To augment this, we do hold special anti-bullying workshops to deal with these specific scenarios. The photo at left was from a School Bus Bullying workshop (in a real school bus, of course) conducted at our Mississauga school last summer. Other bullying seminar/workshops for kids include non-violent de-escalation tactics, self defense in tight spaces, dealing with larger aggressors and multiple bullies scenarios. We also plan to hold joint parent/child seminars on online, social media and chatroom safety.
Lets face it - we can't always be there to protect our children against bullies. And realistically, neither can their teachers. So it's important that we give our kids the ability to handle these situations and protect themselves if necessary.
(1) According to research conducted by Nickelodeon and the Kaiser Family Foundation
A workshop on Dealing with School Bus Bullies given by IKM Mississauga in August, 2013. Realistic, scenario-based training - even for kids!