Here at Ruach Karate we do not tolerate bullying of any description and actively seek to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. We have policies and procedures in place that are published on our website and form the basis of our on going Instructor training.  Plus during class we make sure that students respect each other and don’t even touch one another even when related. If we see this happening, the class is stopped and all students are reminded of the need and safety requirements of why this behavior is not allowed.

Certain on line games have a dance that Sensei Gary has banned from the dojo because it can act as a form of bullying and ridicule those who have lost which is at odds with our promise that its OK to make mistakes.

Our Dojo Etiquette and the Dojo Kun set standards of behavior inside and outside of the Dojo that we expect all students to adhere to in all that they do.

It would be wonderful to live in a World where no bullying occurred but that may be an impossible dream, so here are some useful tips to bear in mind:

What can we do if we are bullied?

Do not react.

The bullies are after a response and you must try to not play that game. Understand that any reaction from you will only encourage them to do more. If you do not react then they will not get what they want and will hopefully get bored of trying and move on.

Try not to get upset.

Again, the bullies are trying to get the victim to react so if you get angry or upset you are doing exactly what they want.

Get away.

If it is at all possible then get away. Just turn around and walk away if you can.

Understand it’s not your fault.

By remaining calm and knowing that the bully is doing these things not because of you but because of themselves can help you to see past the situation. You do not deserve to be treated in this way and nothing you have done has prompted this. The actions of the bully are the bully’s own choice and are normally brought about because they are themselves a victim of bullying in some way.

Tell an adult.

Telling someone what is happening can often be the best way to get something done about the issue. Some adults you could tell could be teachers, parents, other family members, and community leaders, Police etc. There are lots of people who can help, but first you must tell them that there is a problem. Also, if you do tell an adult and nothing seems to get done, do not give up. Keep telling as often as you must to get a result.

Build a team.

Being the victim of bullying can often leave people feeling isolated and alone. By finding like-minded friends you can build a social group of people you enjoy being with and respect you for your qualities. Think of something you like to do, I bet you there are other people out there that also like to do that. Do you have a hobby or skill? Chances are there will be groups and clubs for those. Surround yourself with the kind of people you like to be around.

Find ways to build confidence.

By building self-confidence we then become less of a victim and are more able to meet any kind of domineering behaviour with a better attitude and deal with it accordingly.

What to do if you see bullying.

Do not join in.

It is easy sometimes through peer pressure or the worry that if you don’t join in the attention might swing to you, but we should make sure we are not joining in with bullying behaviour.

Tell an adult.

Just the same as before, one of the best ways to stop bulling is to tell an adult. Do not ignore it.

This may seem like the easiest option sometimes but can lead to further problems down the line. It may be that the bullying didn’t appear like much and ignoring it is easy, but that’s how it grows and spreads.

Be a friend.

We forget how powerful a weapon in the fight on bullying being a friend can be. A kind word or a smile may be the only positive interaction that person has had all day.

Something to Remember.

If we become a victim of bullying it is not our fault. We did not cause this, and we will in no way accept any guilt or responsibility for the actions of the bully. They have chosen to do that, and you cannot be blamed.

No one has the right to make us feel unsafe, uncomfortable or unhappy.

If you need more advice or would like to talk to someone you can contact the following helplines. Childline
Direct Gov 
Victim support
 For more information on the subject of bullying go to: www.thinkuknow.co.uk 
 www.kidscape.org.uk. Thank you to Matt Stait.


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