This is a significant problem here in the USA, and I suspect worldwide.
At a minimum it makes many lives extremely uncomfortable.
At a maximum it leads to massive violence, such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, and many other unfortunate, but I believe preventable incidents.
I believe based on my studies of Aikido, that if offers a new paradigm for dealing with interpersonal violence.
As I said in my intro, Aikido's 'ethical' position of protecting the aggressor, is new. This IS, I believe, the long term solution to unnecessary violence. When you don't protect the aggressor, you create, unless you kill them, someone who lies in wait for the day when they can & WILL retaliate.
In "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction by Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti", the author proposes a 3rd & 4th level of ethical engagement.
Third, is where we do not seek out confrontation, but when confronted, respond with more than necessary force. I must admit that in bullying situations, unfortunately, I am mostly here. I'm reasonable adept at satire, and when attacked verbally, can often cut my opponent to his/her knees. I am not proud of this.
Forth level is where we are sufficiently skilled that we can disarm our opponent and no one is harmed. I want to be at this level.
In bullying, no physical thrusts are present, it's all verbal, yet it can destroy an individual. Yet like physical attacks, verbal attacks are specific, they might attack our person, our behaviors, our preferences, our heritage etc. We need appropriate responses to divert the energy and immobilize our opponents.
Your thoughts and suggestions...
I'm a 55 year old, thin built, less than normal looking guy who has been approached and attacked almost on a daily basis ever since I was 6 years old. In 1968, just at the beginning of high school, when I didn't even know how to make a fist, I started karate. Back then, if you kicked, you were called a girl. So, even when I tried to defend myself, I was humiliated by the onlookers. Even my instructors called me a liar when I told them I didn't smoke, yet caughed from second hand smoke from my mom's smoking. I have never gotten respect from a karate teacher. Yet, I earned a 2nd black belt within 8 years of GoJu training, a very hard hitting art. Then I earned a black belt, sash, in Kung Fu, then one in JuJitsu, Then I took 10 years of kick boxing, then 2 years of Aikido, then a year of Krav Maga (Israli Special Forces). Still training hard at 55 and look 40 so I'm constantly told.
What I get for all my knowledge are tons of thugs actually crossing the street to insult me and challenging to beat the crap out of me with saying like "I'll take that Karate and shove it up your ####!" or "You're so skinny, my sister can beat you up." or "I'll kill you and you're too weak and stupid looking to be a fighter."
I have found from my 2 thousand confrontations that there are 3 levels of fighting, their approach to you with verbal threats (if you back down, they feel you are weak so they up it a notch, their face to face threat of physical violence daring you to make the first move (they have never made the first attack throughout thousands of attacks), and once you touch them in any way, they attack most certainly with a right hook to your face using the left hand to distance themselves at the right distance from you.
With this in mind, I feel I must use what my jujitsu instructor told me, that if a man threatens you, don't break his arm for it. But if he threatens you a second time, break both his legs and his arm. He deserves it.
My funniest experience, as with a lot of experiences, is when I was cornered by my car in a parking lot, with two guys, one standing behind me by the tail light and the other one in front of me who was sitting on the hood of my car. Two guys, out of the blue, just walked up to me in a supermarket lot and were picking on me, just like you'd see in a Billy Jack movie in the 70's. I never said a word, I just listened to the guy by the tail light tell me he thought I walked
like I'm some sort of tough guy and he is going to prove that I'm just some skinny piece of crap. Once he got his courage up, I simply took a step to the guy on the hood, grabbed his leg in a jujitsu leg lock with his foot viced in my armpit, and pulled backward so he was sliding off the hood. And when his butt was just barely sliding off the hood, I moved forward and pile drove his butt and head straight down into the ground and against the car.
The other guy stepped so far back, I thought he was in another time zone. I motioned for him to join the fun, and he refused to take a step in any direction. So, I just walked away. I have a web site you can see basic kicks at www.geocities.com/straightkick/kicks.html
and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We live in a violent world. The only way we will survive is to plow the road so that the innocent coming up from behind are safe. We are the warriors, the protectors of the innocent, and the examples of street justice.