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Karate and Bullying

Karate and Bullying

by Greg Moody

Bullying impacts as many as one in three children (or more in some studies). The impact of bullying on children is similar to other forms of abuse like sexual abuse or physical abuse, far-reaching, and potentially long term. The impact isn’t solely on the child who is being bullied, it also impacts the child who is doing the bullying. It may have short and long term consequences as well. Martial arts have often been suggested to reduce bullying behaviors (and sometimes suggested as increasing bullying behaviors) but there has been limited research on this level of violence between kids and martial arts as an intervention. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of martial arts (in particular the Karate for Kids program) on bullying behaviors. 223 children were given a standardized questionnaire (the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire) and their parents/guardians were given a short parent survey to measure bullying behaviors in beginner, intermediate, and advanced martial arts students. Results showed significant differences between the groups and indicated a reduction in the incidence of children being bullied and a strong indication in a reduction in the child’s tendency to bully others after extended martial arts training. These findings suggest that parents, guardians, or other child professionals who are interested in reducing bullying behaviors should consider martial arts classes for children.

What this means in simple language is that if a child gets a Black Belt, they are less likely to get bullied – and dramatically, the results are more than any school-based or any measured bullying prevention program ever studied!

Bullying is the most common danger (it may not be the most physically deadly but it happens the most) that kids face in the world. I hope this research helps parents make the decision to get started on the Black Belt path!

For the full dissertation, click HERE!



Bailey’s Karate School in Rome has been serving Rome and the surrounding areas since 1980. Our programs have helped thousands of students feel better about themselves and perform better at school, work, and in life. Bailey’s Karate offers award winning programs for ages 4-70. All programs focus on building self confidence, discipline and leadership qualities with an emphasis on academic achievement for those in school. Classes will improve strength and flexibility and reduce stress. All students develop age appropriate conflict resolution skills to become more confident and assertive.

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