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Greenwolf103
12-16-2010, 05:32 AM
I have 2 10-year-old boys who are being bullied in my middle-grade novel. One of the boys is new in town, athletic and easy-going. The other is a tech whiz who has had problems with these bullies before (they are 2 12-year-old boys) but, in the story, the bullying escalates into violence and he starts getting beaten up by them, as does his friend. Another character who takes karate helps them out to defend themselves against the bullies. The tech kid is initially scared to death of these bullies. He does gain confidence and the courage to stand up to them later in the story.

After I wrote this story (it's in the revision stage right now), I learned that martial arts has some kind of effect on deterring bullies. I've done research on this, because I would like to expand on that in my story, but I couldn't really grasp how that works. Besides the obvious reasons of being physically capable of kicking butt, what else is it exactly about martial arts helping the bully problem?

As a note, I've had experience with bullies, and I did take a martial arts class until I injured my leg and couldn't participate anymore. I am hoping that will change someday soon and I can get back into that. :)

Kitty Pryde
12-16-2010, 05:51 AM
Training at a good martial arts school, a kid (or adult) will learn techniques to defuse or escape dangerous situations. In self-defense, physical conflict is a last resort--avoiding dangerous situations, using your words, your body language, or simply running away are all safer. A good martial arts school will teach a kid to use all those first. Plus increased agility=making someone a more challenging target. Not to mention building self-esteem which can make someone a less appealing target for a bully.

A funny self-defense story from the dojo where I used to train: a rather small first grader was getting bullied, so he started training in TKD and karate. After a month or two, the bully came up and demanded the kid get off the swing or he would hit him. The kid shouted NO!, and then when that didn't work, he did what we train to do, which is an extremely formalized version of a punch (one that we aren't supposed to use in actual combat or sparring): stand at attention, bow, bring the fists around to the front, lift them up to chest level, bring them back down as he slides his feet apart, pull one leg back to drop into a forward stance and give a hearty shout, and take a large step forward to punch the bully in the gut with another hearty shout. The bully was so perplexed by all this going on that he just stood there until he got socked. At that point the bully ran away crying, thus ending the bullying problem.

Drachen Jager
12-16-2010, 06:11 AM
Simply having the confidence to stand tall will send most bullies packing. They don't want a fight, they want an easy target.

WriteKnight
12-16-2010, 08:06 AM
Kitty nailed it. Mostly it's a change in the 'targets' mentality. Their mindset, body language and self esteem all change through martial arts training. Likely as not - they won't have to use the training in a physical encounter.

Side note: HEARING that someone is in a martial arts program - can have the same effect. "I heard Johnny is taking Akido... " - Now, you COULD write that up as the bully wanting to 'test' little Johnny - but you could also use it as a warning to find someone else to pick on.

Stlight
12-16-2010, 08:27 AM
Martial arts also teaches you to not fear pain. That alone can freak a bully out.

Jean
12-16-2010, 09:07 AM
Besides the obvious reasons of being physically capable of kicking butt, what else is it exactly about martial arts helping the bully problem?Martial art is more about mindset, train to be better person, self confident, calm, and determined of situation. And physical aspect of martial art isn't for kicking butt; it's aiming for good health. If one trains with an intention to use it beating people in mind, they fell and miss the concept of martial art at all.

frimble3
12-16-2010, 09:14 AM
I wonder if, in the mind of a bully, no-one takes martial arts training for the self-discipline or confidence-building. If, from the point of view of the aggressor, the victim is solely out to learn how to kick the bully's butt, in which case the victim is likely to study very hard, and sincerely, and therefore should be kept well clear of?

Polenth
12-16-2010, 01:01 PM
Bullies do keep clear of people they think can fight back. A calm attitude is a good start, along with not showing pain if the bully tries an experimental hit. One bully, after trying a few times to intimidate me, never came within ten feet of me ever again after it failed. She'd yell insults from a distance sometimes, as long as there was a railing or something between us, but that was more comical than worrying.

It's harder to apply to pre-existing bullying though, because the bully will press harder as the victim has cracked before. It also won't stop psychological bullying carried out by 'friends', because that operates in a more subtle way.

Kitti
12-17-2010, 05:13 AM
When my brother was in elementary school, he was very small and scrawny and even the fact that he was taking martial arts and had - by 5th grade - a black belt didn't deter the class bully from coming after him. Whatever it is about training that is supposed to scare them off didn't work for him. (Keeping in mind, my brother was VERY small and VERY scrawny even though he was actually a year older than his classmates.)

The kid banged his head into the wall a couple of times, then stepped back and tried to kick him. At which point my brother grabbed his leg, knocked him down, and banged his head into the wall. That was pretty much the end of that kid's bullying.

Miguelito
12-17-2010, 08:00 AM
I had a black belt by the end of high school. Most people knew it, though I never advertised. Nobody ever hassled me and I never went looking for trouble (I'm pretty easy going). I never got into a single fight. I'm pretty proud of that.

It actually gave me the confidence to step into situations and defuse them, knowing I could protect myself if I had to.

But it's more than confidence. Another part of it is learning how to anticipate what somebody else is up to by reading body language and by being disciplined enough to keep a cool head and think several steps in the future during stressful situations.

Greenwolf103
12-17-2010, 09:57 AM
Thank you so much, everyone! This is all really good information and I am very grateful to you all for sharing your experiences and insight on this. It has given me a lot to think about with my story. Unfortunately, the span of the story lasts for less than one month, so I can't use a scenario in which my character builds up the confidence and skills in time. I will have to figure out how to make this work for him in such a short period of time. As a side note, the tech kid has two brothers, and the older one usually picks fights with him and gets rough with him. Maybe I could use that in some way, as well, and have them all connected to make this work.

shaldna
12-17-2010, 04:40 PM
The issue that you have here is that if he is trained in martial arts and then he hurts someone, even in self defence then he is the one who will get into trouble.

I know that here if you reach a certain grade you have to inform the police because you are technically a deadly weapon.

This means that in the event of a fight, even if you are acting in self defence, you must never under any circumstance fight back because in the eyes of the law you will be in the wrong, as it would be assault with a deadly weapon.

Not sure what the laws are elsewhere though.

glutton
12-17-2010, 05:35 PM
I know that here if you reach a certain grade you have to inform the police because you are technically a deadly weapon.


Pretty sure this is a widespread (and dumb) myth. http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=460 Google "martial arts deadly weapon myth" and you will get a ton of links to similar articles...

Boxing and wrestling are technically martial arts, do you think every high school boxer or wrestler is legally classified a deadly weapon? These styles are often more effective than many tradition eastern arts (esp. the way they are taught in Mcdojos) in actual fighting situations...

Lhun
12-18-2010, 01:17 AM
Pretty sure this is a widespread (and dumb) myth. http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=460 Google "martial arts deadly weapon myth" and you will get a ton of links to similar articles...Yeah, i live somewhere where the state's monopoly on violence is taken pretty seriously (shooting a shoplifter will get you prison time for manslaughter) but even here there's no such thing. You're absolutely allowed to defend yourself against a threat to yourself.

Kitty Pryde
12-18-2010, 01:39 AM
Thought of another funny martial arts kids story. In the sixth grade, I had a super duper shy nerdy genius friend named Andrew (I was a fellow nerdy overachiever, but he was much smarter and much nerdier). He was short, and Chinese, and badly dressed, and his parents scheduled all his after school time in violin lessons, karate, and extracurricular academics. He got really badly picked on in the crowded hallways between classes by a pack of eighth graders. They roughed him up for about a month, with him asking them to stop, trying to get away, etc. But he had been doing karate since preschool! So after a month of this, he threw them all down a flight of stairs (they were okay). He didn't get in any trouble, as he was such a serious scholarly overachiever that it was obviously self-defense.

Kitti
12-18-2010, 03:02 AM
Unfortunately, the span of the story lasts for less than one month, so I can't use a scenario in which my character builds up the confidence and skills in time. I will have to figure out how to make this work for him in such a short period of time.

In a month, your character would at the very least learn some basic self-defense skills such as how to correctly form a fist, how to punch, how to block, how to kick, etc. If he at any point indicates to one of the black belt instructors at the dojang that he's got a real-life need to know how to defend himself, they might help him by drilling his defensive moves, and teaching additional defensive moves that are beyond the no-belt level. I vividly remember lessons on how to get out of various wrist and shoulder holds, which were completely independent of other TKD skills.

Depending on how "skilled" the bully is in picking on kids, just the fact that your character up and blocks a shove or a punch might be shocking to him. But if he's got maybe a favorite way of immobilizing a kid to pick on him, and your character learns the "escape" to that hold - well, that's starting to look like a viable and realistic use of martial arts training to me...

shaldna
12-18-2010, 01:15 PM
Pretty sure this is a widespread (and dumb) myth. http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=460 Google "martial arts deadly weapon myth" and you will get a ton of links to similar articles...

Boxing and wrestling are technically martial arts, do you think every high school boxer or wrestler is legally classified a deadly weapon? These styles are often more effective than many tradition eastern arts (esp. the way they are taught in Mcdojos) in actual fighting situations...

Actually it's not. I checked with my brother in law and two other black belts I know. Here it's the law. You gotta register.

Lhun
12-18-2010, 02:16 PM
Actually it's not. I checked with my brother in law and two other black belts I know. Here it's the law. You gotta register.Wow, that's really extreme. Can you link to the relevant law?

Wayne K
12-18-2010, 03:30 PM
Professional Boxers have to register in a lot of states here. When you can kill a man with a punch, your hands are considered lethal weapons.

I have no idea how to find links about the law. I would be interested if someone knows how

Lhun
12-18-2010, 04:00 PM
Don't know about Ireland, but regarding the US, this page (http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=460) claims otherwise.
I wouldn't see the point anyway. You can't stop people from having those "lethal weapons", nor take them away, and in the event of a court case it would become known anyway. So what'd the register be good for exactly?

glutton
12-18-2010, 05:21 PM
Needs link to wording of law on an official government page to be believed... otherwise, who told you/them that?

Edit: And if it is true then it's really silly, because a lot of Mcdojo black belts would probably get SMASHED in a real fight against someone with no training, but actual fight experience.

Wayne K
12-18-2010, 05:46 PM
I dont think you're considering the laws are for professional fighters. I dont know about martial arts, but professional fighters are required.

The purpose Lhun is to keep them from brawling. In my lifetime I've never heard of a pro fighter hitting someone outside the ring. I'm guessing the fact that it's a felony helps

yttar
12-18-2010, 06:13 PM
I had a black belt by the end of high school. Most people knew it, though I never advertised. Nobody ever hassled me and I never went looking for trouble (I'm pretty easy going). I never got into a single fight. I'm pretty proud of that.

It actually gave me the confidence to step into situations and defuse them, knowing I could protect myself if I had to.

But it's more than confidence. Another part of it is learning how to anticipate what somebody else is up to by reading body language and by being disciplined enough to keep a cool head and think several steps in the future during stressful situations.

This.

Though I only got my red belt by the time I graduated from high school. And I doubted anyone outside my group of friends knew I was in tae kwon do because there were only two other kids from my school who went to the do jang with me.

As to the law ... I've heard it both ways, but I never asked any of the black belts at my school about it. Though just from sparing with them and feeling the effects of their controlled power*, I don't doubt that they're lethal weapons, especially the guys who've been studying for 20+ years and have military training on top of it.

* What I mean by controlled power is that the force of their punches alone is enough to send you a couple steps backwards. They don't even need to make contact.

When I was in college I took a self-defense class that covered some aspects of the law, but mostly as it applies to self-defense situations.

If you're female, the law is on your side. If someone's attacking you or a loved one or you're defending your kid, especially if that someone is male, you're pretty much encouraged to go all out on your attacker. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure it makes no difference whether you're at home or someplace public.

If you're male, and especially if your attacker is female, the law's not exactly in your favor. If you use more force than deemed necessary, then you'll get punished for it.

As to bullies at school, I doubt the law will get involved unless one kid totally wails on the other.

But like someone said above, a month at a martial arts school isn't enough for the beginner to be able to do any real damage to the bully. But the beginning martial arts student will learn how to make a proper fist and throw a proper punch. Plus a basic front kick is one of the most powerful kicks you can learn.

More importantly, the new student will probably have a change in attitude, self-confidence, etc. just from learning these basic techniques.

(Unless of coure, they're like me and are a really slow learner when it comes to martial arts. I think my confidence even went down just because I was intimidated by the higher ranking students at my do jang who could kick my butt.)

Yttar

Lhun
12-18-2010, 06:38 PM
I dont think you're considering the laws are for professional fighters. I dont know about martial arts, but professional fighters are required.Well, i don't know about the laws in the US but where i live no-one needs to register, professional or not. (though the link i googled suggests it's the same in the US, it does mention professional boxers specifically) Moreover, there's not even anywhere they could register if they wanted to.

The purpose Lhun is to keep them from brawling. In my lifetime I've never heard of a pro fighter hitting someone outside the ring. I'm guessing the fact that it's a felony helpsI dunno that being registered would really help there. I mean, i'm pretty sure everyone already knows what it would look like to a jury if a professional boxer killed another guy in a barfight. It's not like he could hide being a professional fighter if he didn't register.

shaldna
12-19-2010, 01:47 PM
I;ve been having a look online and I can't find any legislation on the topic, so all I have to go on is what I have been told, not doing martial arts myself. I concede that I may have been misinformed, but I will ask around and see if anyone can point me in the right direction.

KQ800
12-27-2010, 03:57 AM
I learned that martial arts has some kind of effect on deterring bullies. I've done research on this, because I would like to expand on that in my story, but I couldn't really grasp how that works. Besides the obvious reasons of being physically capable of kicking butt, what else is it exactly about martial arts helping the bully problem?


IMHO, I think it is as follows: A bullied kid is by definition not an aggressive person who enjoy conflict. Hence they will try to defuse a situation and not escalate a conflict. they get bullied because the bully can get away with it. when the bullied kid learns constructive ways to deal with a threat, such as deflecting blows, or evading grappling locks, they will not normally use this unless forced to. this means that they are not a threat to the bully, but they are no longer amusing to pick on.

Sometimes they don't even have to do that since they are less afraid of physical violence and so gets harder to get a rise out of. Without the initial stages the bully is sometimes not ready to go directly to violence against a calm target.

Scylding
12-27-2010, 08:10 AM
This means that in the event of a fight, even if you are acting in self defence, you must never under any circumstance fight back because in the eyes of the law you will be in the wrong, as it would be assault with a deadly weapon.Echoing what other people have said about this being a myth. In the States, it's definitely false, and while I can't speak for Ireland, I have a hard time understanding why a country would deny basic rights to someone because of a sport or hobby they do. On top of that...not all arts have rank. And not all arts that do are ranked equally. Any government trying to implement this kind of "register yourself as a deadly weapon" rule would have to come up with a complex system of charts and diagrams to figure out who was where. If they were to go to all this trouble, it would in all likelihood be easy to find.


Professional Boxers have to register in a lot of states here. When you can kill a man with a punch, your hands are considered lethal weapons.Can you cite an example of this? If it were that easy to kill someone with a punch, they wouldn't be allowed to do it professionally...


In my lifetime I've never heard of a pro fighter hitting someone outside the ring. Google Mike Tyson. Or go here and read this: http://www.mmamania.com/2007/12/28/matt-hughes-recalls-streetfight-between-tito-ortiz-and-lee-murray-in-2002/

- Joe

PrincessofPersia
12-27-2010, 09:49 AM
I have 2 10-year-old boys who are being bullied in my middle-grade novel. One of the boys is new in town, athletic and easy-going. The other is a tech whiz who has had problems with these bullies before (they are 2 12-year-old boys) but, in the story, the bullying escalates into violence and he starts getting beaten up by them, as does his friend. Another character who takes karate helps them out to defend themselves against the bullies. The tech kid is initially scared to death of these bullies. He does gain confidence and the courage to stand up to them later in the story.

After I wrote this story (it's in the revision stage right now), I learned that martial arts has some kind of effect on deterring bullies. I've done research on this, because I would like to expand on that in my story, but I couldn't really grasp how that works. Besides the obvious reasons of being physically capable of kicking butt, what else is it exactly about martial arts helping the bully problem?

As a note, I've had experience with bullies, and I did take a martial arts class until I injured my leg and couldn't participate anymore. I am hoping that will change someday soon and I can get back into that. :)

I have black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Hapkido and some boxing training. The only effect it ever had on bullying for me was that I could kick the bully's ass before he beat me up. I still got bullied and attacked. I still do. *shrug*

I suspect it has more to do with confidence than anything else. Something to do with having confidence makes you invisible to the bully radar. Or you look like a friendly or whatever.

mack
12-27-2010, 10:07 AM
Most bullies are bigger and stronger than their targets. Bullies do not want to be humiliated by being beat up. Thus, a Martial Arts expert would damage both the bully's body and psych and that is the last thing they want.

PrincessofPersia
12-27-2010, 10:27 AM
Yes, but how are they supposed to know you're a martial arts expert? They only picked on me because they didn't know I could kick their asses.

mack
12-27-2010, 03:11 PM
I agree with your statement about confidence. It reeks when a person is not afraid and a bully cannot stand a challenge.
I have worked in schools for many years. There are several ways for information to get out. There are not many secrets in schools. The grapevine there is quick and sure. A close friend may have let the info out in confidence. A teacher or guidance counsellor as well. The martial arts interest could be on the student's transcript.

Spiral
12-29-2010, 11:55 PM
Another character who takes karate helps them out to defend themselves against the bullies.

At my son's Kung Fu school it is states in the rules of the club that no student is permitted to teach Kung Fu to any one else. Sorry, I know that wasn't your question. It was just the first thing that occurred to me.

Smiling Ted
12-30-2010, 01:50 AM
I have 2 10-year-old boys who are being bullied in my middle-grade novel. One of the boys is new in town, athletic and easy-going.

Even if a kid is new in town, if he's "athletic and easygoing," he's unlikely to be a target of bullies.

Nivarion
01-02-2011, 04:41 AM
The issue that you have here is that if he is trained in martial arts and then he hurts someone, even in self defence then he is the one who will get into trouble.

I know that here if you reach a certain grade you have to inform the police because you are technically a deadly weapon.

This means that in the event of a fight, even if you are acting in self defence, you must never under any circumstance fight back because in the eyes of the law you will be in the wrong, as it would be assault with a deadly weapon.

Not sure what the laws are elsewhere though.


Assuming that it was true (I know its not) It wouldn't really matter in the states. Most martial arts that have a formal training method teach you to retreat from a fight unless you can't. Since every state in the US allows for the use of violence in a situation where you cant retreat (And many allow you to use it in your or a friends home without retreating, and them a few you don't have to leave at any where so long as you're there legally and the other person is not) he would be legally okay with hurting his intruder.

And, it would be impossible for it to be proved that he used deadly force without someone dying. It's not a cut and dry thing like using a gun or a knife, or pepper spray or a Tazer. This is more along the lines of using a broom. Is it lethal or not?

And in a normal fight with a bully, the thug will get the point after the first round or two. If he didn't and it resulted in his death then it would mean that he seriously was intent on hurting the artist, so it would satisfy the "Grievous bodily injury" clause of those laws.

And the very last point. The still haven't gotten a registry on gun owners. If people like me won't let them monitor our right to keep and bear our Arms, then what make any one thing we'd let them keep a registry on our arms or legs?



Well, now that that is done.

I used to be bullied frequently. I was put through the whole gambit, my worst memory being duct taped to a stop sign while they ripped my hair out. (Seventh grade boys while I was in the second no chance.)

In my time as a target, I've learned a few things about my bullies. Most (70%ish imo) are the stereotypical bastards that your parents told you they were. Just a shallow prick out for an easy ego ride by beating on someone small and shy. They want to look big in front of their 'Friends' who are more of the same type. They'll pump your gas latter.

Then there's another type of bully (29%ish) who are not that bad, they're trying to find their pecking order of things. They're more prone to mind games than the first.

And then there's the last kind. These people are genuinely dangerous. They don't beat you up for any ego ride or anything. They do it because they can, or because they like hurting people.

I only ever met with one of these types, We both went to the hospital (and he went to prison later, lots of witnesses on that one) He busted a skateboard over my head, and enjoyed that fight even more when I fought back. It wasn't right.

This last type often leads a group of the first, and if you do manage to beat him, the other's won't touch you without him encouraging them.

Which type of kid is the bully?

skylark
01-02-2011, 07:37 PM
I've never heard of martial artists having to register with the police and both my kids and my husband do karate - I'm in the UK but not the same bit of it as shaldna. I think I probably would have heard if it was a requirement here, as "what happens when you become a black belt" appears to be a favourite topic of discussion among the pre-teen boys especially :)

I'd expect the biggest bonus to be body language. Not so much "I know how to punch" but "I know how to block".

Like someone else said, martial arts students aren't permitted to teach others, especially not beginners, except in a controlled situation (i.e. at the club with a black belt supervising and running the class). I can easily imagine the rule getting bent to show someone posture and hand position in order to look as if they knew what they were doing to scare off a bully, though.