Dealing with Bullying with Martial Arts

Having to deal with bullying can be one of the most challenging things in life. Having someone be unpleasant to you combined with a sense of powerlessness in being able to stop them or respond appropriately, often leads to a loss of confidence and self-esteem.

This is where martial arts comes in, not with the “classic” learning the moves in the class and then using them to gain a physical victory over the perpetrator as we see in the movies. Instead, martial arts training goes much deeper than this, it’s about building the person up from the inside.

When someone enrols in a martial arts programme for the first time they start at the beginning and they are taught everything from that point.

It’s about taking that first step into the training hall and getting involved in the class, along with the other students there and following the instructors teaching.


After a few lessons, it will become apparent that the beginner is starting to pick things up and it is from here that confidence begins to grow, and this then is the start of being able to positively deal with bullying.

“It’s not what happens to us that really counts its how we respond to whats happens”

When we start to feel better in ourselves our confidence and self-esteem grows, feeling better about ourselves allows us to see things more clearly and have more choices available on how to respond appropriately to whatever threat we may encounter.


After a month or two of classes, the essence of the martial art will start to form itself within the new student. This will be acknowledged by feeling fitter, stronger, developing co ordination, and building friendships with like minded people.


The fundamentals of the martial art will be the basis from which all other techniques develop. Fundamentals build a strong base, an inner core of strength and flexibility, and it is from here that powerful techniques start to form.

Knowing that you are becoming stronger, fitter, better balanced and more powerful has an accumulative effect on how we see ourselves. This training will help to take the student from “victim” to “empowered”


Martial arts works on the inside as much as on the outside, and as it does so we feel transformed. We can see the improvements happening weekly, we feel our confidence growing and we start to see ourselves in a new way. When we see ourselves being able to punch, kick, block and strike powerfully, we start to realise that if we had to we could use these techniques to defend ourselves.

There are many ways to deal with bullying. As bullying is present in different forms and in different environments. But studying the martial arts is a gateway to stepping up to the many challenges we face in life and to which bullying is one of them.

Examples of dealing with bullying can be to walk away, scream or yell, reason with the bully, use humour, or take a martial art stance. These are just a few of the strategies that are available to someone who trains at their local martial arts school.

Their instructor may not talk about them in quite the same way, they may use different words or terminology but strategies are available to the student who is beginning feel more confident and empowered. It’s about taking control, not of the other person, but of your response to what is happening.


Martial arts training prepares you for sparring which is a form of controlled fighting or combat. Learning to cope in sparring can often make day to day challenges seem less of a problem. The reason being is because you are having to deal with another person who is trying their hardest to score a point against you with their foot or hand, or throw you or sweep you off balance. It is from sparring that you develop the ability to think quickly, respond quickly and be decisive in your actions to come out on top.

All the skills and attitude required when dealing with a bully. There are so many life-changing benefits we gain when we study and train in the martial arts, and learning how to positively deal with bullying is one of them.

Written by Master David Hodson of Fortitude Academy & Writer of The Mindful Martial Artist

Instructor, School Owner & Franchise Owner of Fortitude Academy

Over 30 years training in the martial arts.

Over 25 Years teaching Taekwon Do.

From single school owner with 30 students to Co Owner of Fortitude Academy reaching over 1300 students each week via our main schools and franchises in Kent, Surrey, Manchester and Sussex

Over the years we have produced World, European and National champions. Just as importantly we have great success teaching in our local communities where students of all ages, all abilities can train together in a safe, nurturing, family environment.

David also qualified in 1997 as a clinical hypnotherapist and ran successful practices for many years in Croydon, Oxted and Harley Street in London.

David also has a blog on Facebook called The Mindful Martial Artist Which is dedicated to mindfulness meditation practice. Daily insights are posted along with a weekly Zoom mindfulness meditation class.

David can be contacted directly by email at


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