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Richard S
Richard S's picture
Bully Proof Kids

Hi Everyone,

I'm new on the forum. I help at my church youth group. One of the common complaints that our kids have is that they are bullied at school. I was also bullied at school and that was one of the big motivations when I started karate - I wanted to beat up the bullies. Once I started training in Karate my confidence improved and to a large extent the bullying stopped. I know that there is the Gracie Bullyproof Course, but it has a price attached and also is in a discipline that I am not trained in. I was wondering if anyone knows of anything similar and preferably at a low cost or free with a Karate foundation.

Kind Regards,


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Richard,

Richard S wrote:
I'm new on the forum.

Welcome! Good to have you join us!

Richard S wrote:
One of the common complaints that our kids have is that they are bullied at school.

The school(s) seems to have a problem with discipline in this regard. If they are doing anything to address it, then it’s obviously not working. While working with the kids to “bullyproof” them is important, stopping the problem at source is obviously preferable.

Richard S wrote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of anything similar and preferably at a low cost or free with a Karate foundation.

“Off the shelf” courses are certainly out there, but if cost is a pressing issue then there is lots of free resources that would help you and the church support the children.

Your timing is good because it is Anti-Bullying Week (here in the UK). The BBC has provided a set of resources:


The charity Kidscape also have good resources:


Lots of good information and resources here too:


I’d look to gather some resources together and do something in-house. It could be a very good idea to involve the kids too. Tell them that the church is looking to put a program together to help all the children. Go through the resources with them and let them pick the ones they feel would be most beneficial. The kids having an active part in the process is sure to help it hit the mark.

All the best,


Richard S
Richard S's picture

Hi Iain

Thank you very much for those very helpful suggestions. I will definitely check out those links and see what we can do with the kids co-operation.

I am from South Africa and bullying is a huge problem here. Unfortunately very often the teachers aren't interested in helping the students. There have also been occasions in some schools where the teachers were assaulted by the students.

Also a big thank you for your great website and the excellent information you provide.

All my best.


Anf's picture

Here's my observation that I've built up over a number of years in several different martial arts clubs.

If the goal is to make kids 'bullyproof', martial arts training is not necessarily effective.

If course it will be for some. But here's why I think it's not necessarily the best route for most.

Based purely on my own observations, and not necessarily backed by evidence, I think most, but certainly not all, bully victims are chosen for their apparent lack of confidence. Karate, or any other martial art can help develop confidence in some. Therefore some will become more 'bullyproof' as an apparent result of that training.

Note I said 'apparent result of training'. I don't think the martial arts training is what did it. Martial arts training doesn't really give you anything that you haven't already got. It just shines a light on what's in there, somewhere. For some kids, dancing or football might boost confidence and have a similar effect.

Here comes a bold claim, but the more I see, and the more I learn, the more I'm convinced its true. For the majority of people, those that train a couple of times a week, martial arts training does not make you a better fighter. Sure it makes you fitter and more agile, just like sport does, but unless you practice a lot, with a lot of different people, with a lot of different rule sets, it won't add that much when it comes to a real violent situation where there is chaos and fear and no rules and no referee or instructor to stop it going to far.

What martial arts can do is convince someone that they can fight, when previously they may have believed otherwise. That counts for a lot. For some.

But not all kids are the same. While one kid in the class might imagine their fairly poor technique looks awesome, another kid in the same class might think their own awesome technique is poor. And if they compare themselves to their peers, they may even come away less confident than they started.

None of this is style specific. I think it's equally true of karate or BJJ or boxing or anything else.

The instructor counts for a lot. A good instructor with mediocre technical skill but bursting with kid friendly enthusiasm and a massive dollop of empathy will have a greater impact than an instructor with awesome technical skills but no empathy for kids.

So what's the point I'm trying to make? In a nutshell, I don't think ready made plans are going to have the desired effect. I think you'd do better to have a loose and flexible plan, but largely wing it, paying very close attention to your class. And be ready to improvise quickly if you feel you're not reaching them all.

And please remember this. There is no such thing as a lazy kid. There are bored kids, and there are kids that get frustrated and stop because they think they can't do it. They're not lazy, they just need guidance that works for them.

Richard S
Richard S's picture

Hi Anf

Thank you for you input. Will definitely keep your points in consideration as I prepare.

Kind Regards,