Posted On:9/27/2007 4:44am
Style: Kung Fu
(Posted in the Newbie forum too)
I'm a father of a student in Kung Fu that is 11 years old. He's small for his age, and his training over the last year has helped a great deal in his confidence and flexibility. He is very good and smooth flowing with his forms and practices rigorously. In his class, no one kicks higher than he does. He can put his feet behind his head, and has begun studying Tai Chi to complement his external (Kung Fu) training. His belt is First Brown.
However, he fights/spars very defensively (is afraid of getting hurt) but is good at blocking most attacks by similarly sized opponents. He moves away from difficult opponents while quickly deflecting blows. Classmates with belt ranks near his that are bigger and faster than he is blatantly hold back when sparring him. Those classmates REALLY go after the tougher adversaries and spar with gusto. Against my son, they ceremonially attack, for fear of hurting him.
With the introductory facts out of the way, here is what I want help with from you experienced martial artists.
There's a bully my son has to deal with from time to time. He's a verbal bully and has not tried to get physical with my son. He's slightly bigger than my son, and in some ways, is more emotionally mature. My son is very intelligent, but emotionally behind most children his own age.
This verbal bully berates him often on the school bus, and in the neighborhood. I've talked to his parents, and even gotten him in trouble by complaining to school officials about his verbal abuses (my son came home visibly upset one time, and my complaint resulted in this neighbor's kid being suspended from taking the bus to school for a week). My boy blows off the insults and whatnot most of the time.
The thing I find interesting and my reason for asking for help?
Most victims of bullies avoid them. They take another route when they see the bully coming, or standing somewhere, etc. Bullies tend to be a continual source of emotional stress for targets of attack.
My son makes an effort to be out whenever the bully is out. I mean when he sees him outside in our cul de sac, he RUSHES to get his shoes on to get out there. He obviously wants to get out there before the bully leaves or goes inside his own house - he WANTS the bully to see him and start his insults. I just don't get it. That part makes no sense to me when I take everything else into consideration.
Now I can't talk my son out of going out when the bully is out playing. I am a very aggressive and successful alpha personality male that may be overprotective of a son I feel is a bit naive like I was when I was a kid. My son will obey me without question if I put my foot down. But I won't order him not to go outside. I observe him when he's out with the bully, and I hear the bully's taunts, etc. The bully does not know I am observing (the bully is extremely intimidated by me, almost to the point of being resentful about it).
My son will play by himself, but won't make any aggressive moves toward the other kid, though he stands his ground and will NOT move away from the kid when the other gets right up to him. The other kid knows my son takes Kung Fu - he likely has no idea what his rank is or how proficient he is at the art, but it may be why he hasn't touched him up to this point. I can tell my boy is hesitant about staging a confrontation to settle the matter. But for some reason, he doesn't adopt the normal psychological strategy of avoidance that is ubiquitous in these situations.
I get the feeling my son either doesn't fully trust his training, or else his ability to use it. We've had the talks about never fighting other kids unless he is attacked, etc. I have told my son not to attack the bully "But if he pushes you or otherwise lays a hand on you - you use your Kung FU - especially those high kicks to his head. He is NO match for you with the training you've had."
I don't understand my son's behavior with this kid at all. It truly baffles me.
What can be done to get my son to believe in the effectiveness of his training when taking on adversaries in his age group? He knows his sparring partners aren't out to hurt him and if he got into a scrap with this other boy, I know he's aware there'd be no holds barred. I know he is nervous and I am not spoiling to see my son in a real fight. But he needs to believe that what he has been taught will work. His next belt is Jr Black belt and while he is proud of his accomplishments, I think he wonders if these skills will really make a difference in an actual confrontation.
I am asking for advice - what strategies can increase his confidence? Nothing I SAY to him is going to matter here. I need some sound advice on helping him overcome his barrier to rely on what he knows.
Last edited by Cremon; 9/27/2007 4:47am at .
Sexiest Punching Bag Alive
Posted On:9/27/2007 7:00am
I think you need to explain to him how bullys work. You punch them in the face and 9 out of 10 times they run home crying. And on that 10th time when they do fight back, well, you take the good with the bad. But then they usually have the respect to leave you alone.
So get your son to just punch him in the face.
"a martial art that has no rules is nothing but violence" - Kenji Tomiki
1% Shark is better than you.
Posted On:9/27/2007 11:18am
Please don't cross post (post the same thread in more than one place). You are getting responses in Newbietown so i am locking this version.
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