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Old 05-03-2008, 03:14 PM   #1
BobGorman
 
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Bullying

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.

Why Aikido?
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...

Bob
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
dps
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Bob Gorman wrote: View Post

In bullying, no physical thrusts are present, it's all verbal, yet it can destroy an individual.
It is an individual's choice what the effect of verbal bullying has.
If a verbal attack destroys you, that is your choice.

Quote:
Bob Gorman wrote: View Post
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 opponentsBob
The best response to nonphysical bullying is no response. Do not engage the bully. Stay away from someone who is a bully, leave if someone is bullying you, or if you can't do either of the above then ignore the bully.

David
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Bob Gorman wrote: View Post
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.
IMHO, bullies attack the weakest, not the strongest in the herd. Teach strength.

Also, the best way to get off the line in a verbal attack is not to take it personal and see it as a sign of the bully's insecurities and fears.

Agreed, its is a progressive problem and on we need to address.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Bullying

Hello Mr Gorman,

You raise a very interesting and pertinent question.

In your post you apply the lessons supposedly learned by aikido training to situations outside the world of aikido and this is very good.

However, in my own experience, I have been stunned to encounter physical and verbal bullying very much inside the world of aikido: dojo seniors who bully their juniors on and off the tatami, and people who should know better (including 8th dan shihans) who use their rank and status to 'beat down' others, who are 'weaker' in terms of rank and supposed technical ability.

Seeing this, I have become more reluctant to tell people what aikido is supposed to 'do' as a budo, especially outside the dojo. I suppose it is the old question of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
tuturuhan
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Mr Gorman,

However, in my own experience, I have been stunned to encounter physical and verbal bullying very much inside the world of aikido: dojo seniors who bully their juniors on and off the tatami, and people who should know better (including 8th dan shihans) who use their rank and status to 'beat down' others, who are 'weaker' in terms of rank and supposed technical ability.

Best wishes,
Dr Goldsbury,

A father, an uncle, a big brother scolds the young man in hopes of forming him. There is a hope that the young man will become a person with virture and values.

A man with such virtues can "handle" himself in whatever the situation. He knows how to defend himself. He knows how to fight and when not to fight.

A bully never acts alone. He works in a gang of four or more people. They pick out the weak, the solitary and incapable. They do so because they can. This happens more so on the internet. The bullied in real life, suddenly have found a means of becoming bullies in the safe arena of the internet.

So do we protect the weak? Is it our job? Do we fight their battles? Or like the father, the uncle and the big brother, do we teach them to "carry big sticks"? I for one, believe that every man needs to fight his own battles. So, I for one, provide hierarchy, obstacle, and restrictions to "help shape" the young virtuous man.

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:07 PM   #6
dragonteeth
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Re: Bullying

I have always wondered what sort of results one might see if Aikido in Everyday Life was to be introduced into the educational curriculum somewhere in the early adolescent ages. Not only would it give the kids a good arsenal of techniques for handling conflict, but could also lay the foundation for some very valuable interpersonal skills for professional use later on in life. Looking back, I wish that the book had been available to me much earlier in life because there are so many events that I might have handled differently. Even still, those skills come in handy a great many times for myself in encounters with hostile or fearful patients and in employee coaching sessions. Does anyone know of a school district that has used the book, and if so what the results were?

Oh and thank you for the smile, Mr. Arriola - I haven't been called Miss in close to 20 years. It kinda reminded me of what it felt like the last time I was carded for alcohol - and we won't go into how long ago that was!
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:46 AM   #7
tuturuhan
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Re: Bullying

Oh and thank you for the smile, Mr. Arriola - I haven't been called Miss in close to 20 years. It kinda reminded me of what it felt like the last time I was carded for alcohol - and we won't go into how long ago that was![/quote]

Miss Lori,

My pleasure. Well, I still enjoy making a woman blush. You made my day.

Best,
Mr. Joe

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #8
BobGorman
 
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Re: Bullying

Thank you all for replying.
There seems to be 2 sub-threads, the main one is on how to counteract or neutralize bullyies, and a 2nd surprising thread on bullying with Aikido dojos.

As to the main topic - how to counteract bullyies
I agree with your many comments, teach all individuals to be strong; mentally, emotionally, and yes spiritually. I've done this in special ed high schools, and of course with my own 5 kids. Strength, as I teach it, is not just physical strength, but what I call strategic strength; out-think your enemy.

Practical hints:
Do not take it personal; see it as a sign of the bully's insecurities and fears.

The 2nd topic surprised me - bullying within Aikido dojos.
I experienced this but was reluctant to talk about it. Over the last 4 decades I've participated in 5 Dojo's. Only 1 left me ashamed. The sensei is 4th Dan which I used to think meant something, but I no longer do. Most of his clients were police officers. They have a 'macho' attitude, which unfortunately seeped into the thinking of the sensei. One night during training, with a fairly new trainee, I don't fault him, he executed a maneuver which came close to dislocating my shoulder. The pain kept me from practicing for about 6 months. But, since I love Aikido, I often went to sessions, just to watch and listen. I soon picked up on the attitude of the sensei that "some students need to be 'put in their place'". Pure simple bullying, by a 4th dan!

Bob
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #9
kernsales1
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Bob Gorman wrote: View Post
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.

Why Aikido?
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...

Bob
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 kernsales1@aol.com

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.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:44 PM   #10
BobGorman
 
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Re: Bullying

Don,
I enjoyed your post. It confirms my experience that only weak individuals bully. The strong have no need to.Since my last post I've expanded my thoughts on this topic to a class of individuals that are often not associated with bullying, what I call the 'Whiney Bullies'. My thoughts are at: http://blog.kncell.org/2008/08/01/whiney-bullies/

Bob

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It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men
....Frederick Douglass
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:36 AM   #11
Jacqueline von Arb
 
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Re: Bullying

My son (then 10) was bullied at school, mostly verbally but he did get his wrist broken at one time.
We tried a lot of the traditional advising - ignore, walk away, tell a grown-up... we engaged the sports coaches, teachers, even the principal...
It's not easy for a kid to ignore bullies or their words, or know how to emotionnally deal with this when what they want most is to fit in.

So one day, it dawned on me... I said come here, lets practice some aikido. We stood facing each other in the living room:
- Words are like an attack, I said, and so what do we do when an attack is coming?
- Step out of the line
- That's right, so now as the words come, step aside, turn around as they reach your body and imagine the words fly by and hit the wall in the back.

We practiced this a few times, I was uke (the bully) and he was tori (the bullied). My tsuki were insults, and so he physically got out of the way of the words' trajectory, did a sort of tenkan, and then we watched the words' trajectory and imagined the sounds the words would make once they hit the wall (splat, kaboom, bonk/slide-to-floor/pop, etc). We laughed so hard I had a hard time to bully seriously!!!

OK, I said after a while, now that you're facing the same direction as the "bully", how do you think the bully is feeling when he does this, why is he doing this? I asked.
He thought about it for a while, and said, "Man, so-and-so's really small inside and thinks he'll feel bigger and better by picking on me... poor guy".
The fear and the hurt slowly turned into pity and understanding.

Fast forward a few months. I came home one day, and got angry because of all the shoes pell-mell in the hall for the nth time. I was just about to go after the kids for it, when my son said: Hi Mom - sounds like you've had a bad day - and my "attack" got totally diffused and we tidied the hall together.

My son (now 12) hasn't started aikido yet. But he sure puts it in practice!

[epilogue: he now has dropped wanting to be accepted by those "bad friends", changed sports and found a new set of friends - and I have a happy boy again]

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Old 01-08-2009, 01:37 PM   #12
BobGorman
 
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Re: Bullying

Jacqueline,
Quote:
Jacqueline von Arb wrote: View Post
So one day, it dawned on me... I said come here, lets practice some aikido. We stood facing each other in the living room:
- Words are like an attack, I said, and so what do we do when an attack is coming?
- Step out of the line
- That's right, so now as the words come, step aside, turn around as they reach your body and imagine the words fly by and hit the wall in the back.
Thank you, this is so helpful. I'm a visual learner and get easily confused when I can't see or make a picture of what's going on. That's why I like "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by R. Westbrook and O. Ratti Illustrations by O. Att. In the illustrations he clearly marks the flow of energy, which one can't normally see, with visible arrows.

For verbal self-defense, my weakest area, there are no good images, & metaphors & books. Your example here enables me to clearly visualize it.

Quote:
Jacqueline von Arb wrote: View Post
OK, I said after a while, now that you're facing the same direction as the "bully", how do you think the bully is feeling when he does this, why is he doing this? I asked.
He thought about it for a while, and said, "Man, so-and-so's really small inside and thinks he'll feel bigger and better by picking on me... poor guy".
The fear and the hurt slowly turned into pity and understanding.
That's an amazing next step for a youngster to learn so early. We can do more that just avoid getting hurt. Indeed, I believe, understanding is necessary to make progress in human relationships possible.
Your son is indeed blessed to have you for a mom.

Bob
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:00 AM   #13
Buck
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Re: Bullying

A very good discussion indeed. I talk allot about bullying here. Verbal attacks is how common bullies start and then shift to the physical stuff. It really can be seen here in Aikiweb. There are some individual posters who are bullies and routinely seek out targets to harass. Often it starts with a debate then turns ugly. There is one bully I have in mind that is really smooth with his verbal attacks. If faced in person I am sure you would see how weak and insecure he is.

How do you combat that? Often these internet forum bullies are like the "popular" or have others intimidated they have free rein on the board. They will also get other bullies to gang up on a target. IF you complain your a winer, and seen as weak that intensifies the bullies verbal attacks. You often have to just stop posting. In my mind you have surrendered to the bully. Other tactics such as getting others to attack you or labeling you as someone not welcome, i.e. a troll, breaking rules etc. That is usually done by the bully(s) making complaints to moderator(s). That can be really effective if they are friends or well liked by the moderator(s). I think to combat these bullies is different then other situation. You have to be polite and ignore them. These bullies are looking for attention and power among their peers. Taking that away and not being someone they can verbally attack makes it difficult for them to feel like the Big Man on Campus.

Yes, bullies only can be verbal and start with verbal attacks that can be very harmful. It is really true in the schools with kids. The school bully now can use the internet to intimidate the target. No longer does the bully have to physically locate the target, and the target no longer is able to dodge the bully. The bully can start a remote verbal attack and then can lead to very dangerous physical attacks. The internet works in the favor of the bully, making it easier to intimidate with verbal attacks.

With the internet so much part of our lives bullies have found and easier another way to bully and I think it is has been very effective for them. It has not worked in the favor of the target in very much for kids. Adult targets dealing with bullies have more options and they may not ever have to face their bully. Sadly, it is still a huge problem for kids.

For me and the person who feels I am a target to a bully, when he starts with verbal attacks, I ignore it.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #14
Charles Hill
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Re: Bullying

Hi Bob,

I see that you list Akira Tohei as your primary teacher. I began Aikido at the Glen Ellen Aikido Club in 1990 and also frequently went to the Chicago dojo to train regular classes and seminars. My best friend was a kenshusei under Tohei Sensei, who regularly came out to Glen Ellen to teach.

I must admit that I am surprised that you were surprised to read Dr. Goldsbury`s comments on bullying in Aikido. The MAC had several well known bullies. I have heard many, many stories, witnessed several episodes myself and have even experienced bullying myself a couple of times there. It is surprising to me that you are not aware of this.

Another more general comment. It is my experience that bullies are not aware that they bully. It is even conceivable to me that a complete bully could participate in a discussion as this one and not even realize the irony.

Charles
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:14 AM   #15
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Bullying

It goes beyond just the strong victimising the weak. Bullies are not strong and their victims are not inherently weak. Strong and weak are relative terms and someone very weak can bully someone very strong if they take advantage of certain circumstances.

Bullying is just opportunism where intimidation and exploitation take the place of developing real power.

Aikido should empower people to avoid this kind of opportunism. Bullying within Aikido sounds like some kind of Budo HIV, infecting the very thing that should be stopping it. Not good for an art that must be practised honestly.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:15 PM   #16
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Bullying

From John Will's biography:

http://www.rogueblackbelt.com/rogue_...ter1_book1.pdf

Worth reading, imo.

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Old 01-12-2009, 01:39 PM   #17
Buck
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
It goes beyond just the strong victimising the weak. Bullies are not strong and their victims are not inherently weak. Strong and weak are relative terms and someone very weak can bully someone very strong if they take advantage of certain circumstances.
.
That is true, I agree and will change that and incorporate that into my view, and stuff. Come to think of it I have seen victims turn into bullies, ya know. And I know of victims who put an end to being a victim.

I am going to say that what is seen as weakness might just be conditioned behavior not to be aggressive in a certain way. Say, some people are raised not to talk back to a parent and if they do they suffer for it. They then become reserved and don't develop verbal skills that will stop a bully.But in another way the same person might be completely the opposite. It doesn't make them weak or anything, it just that they grew up that way. But bullies think it as weakness and that is the problem.

I don't know if Aikido is equipped to deal with helping people deal with bullies on all the levels. It would be up to each individual Sensei to teach that.

I would have to disagree with the idea bullies don't know that they are bullies. Maybe not as the victim or others see them. But the do enjoy the personal intimidation, the personal attacks verbal that intimidate and humiliate and physical. The enjoy and realize the power they exercise over their victims and don't stop at one. Some are very smooth while others are not.

Last edited by Buck : 01-12-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #18
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: Bullying

Talking about bullies, how do you get parents to realize that their beautiful child is one? Adults too often mistake bullying for intensive teasing.
We have an adorable little boy training with us. Let's call him Johnny. When Johnny started, he was not so sure about Aikido, so Sensei decided give him more bokken and jo training to get him interested, and it worked. Johnny was hooked, and is now showing interest in irimi nage and kotagaeshi as well. But he seems not to have forgotten his previous classes.
It turns out that Johnny and his little brother have a bigger cousin who loves (loved?) to bully them. One day, Johnny found Bigger Cousin tormenting his little brother one more time, and he saw red. He grabbed a stick (I don't know what it was, a broomstick or part of a toy, or something), and whacked Bigger Cousin in the stomach. Bigger Cousin ran to him mama screaming, and Johnny's mama ran to Sensei, worried that her sweet little boy was turning into something evil. Sensei assured her that since Johnny had acted in defense of his little brother, he had been very brave. What I wonder is how come Bigger Cousin's parents did not realize that their kid was being a horrifying pain in the neck of his smaller cousins. Some people say, let the victim defend themselves. But children take clues of what is right an what is wrong by observing their parent's attitude in front of a given situation. Isn't ignoring a bad behavior send the message that it is alright? I mean, these children are first cousins. I don't have kids, but I cannot imagine letting my child torment my sister's without a comment.
And, Jacqueline, I loved your post. Thank you, your kids are really lucky to have you.

Last edited by Marie Noelle Fequiere : 01-15-2009 at 01:21 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:46 PM   #19
BobGorman
 
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Talking about bullies, how do you get parents to realize that their beautiful child is one?
Bullies usually generate a lot of feedback. You have to be willing to hear it. When teachers, neighbors, relatives, Cousins, etc. generate feedback that says your 'angel' is behaving in devilish ways; rather than just defending him/her you need to investigate that feedback.

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Some people say, let the victim defend themselves.
Yes, much discussion in the martial arts, not just Aikido, is totally victim focused, ignoring the larger consequences to 'community'. Is it really necessary that every individual be trained in the martial arts?

An interesting perspective is this article:
http://www.pgpft.com/On_Sheep_Wolves...s-Grossman.htm
I guess I'm a reluctant sheep-dog. I'd hate to have to kill another human being, but if my loved ones are ever threatened I truly hope I would respond, without hesitation, to use immediate & overwhelming, lethal force.
Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Isn't ignoring a bad behavior send the message that it is alright?
Absolutely!
One of the most profound observations, ever, is:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
is that good men do nothing" --Edmund Burke

And again:
"The world is a dangerous place to live,
not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Albert Einstein

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
I don't have kids, but I cannot imagine letting my child torment my sister's without a comment
I do have 5 kids and 4 grandkids.
While I love them all, unconditionally as persons, I need to be constantly aware of behaviors that are harmful and/or destructive to themselves or others AND call them on those behaviors when necessary.

Bob
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #20
Buck
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Re: Bullying

Quote:
Marie Noelle Fequiere wrote: View Post
Talking about bullies, how do you get parents to realize that their beautiful child is one?
Yea, I find the easy answer reply of those "some people" have the worst perspective, poorest attitude and understanding of the situation and human nature. A justification for power behavior a.k.a. bully behavior. Many parents I see don't want their kids to be the weak one, they prefer to have their kid be the bully. Bully behavior in the adult world is powerful. Allot of parents are bullied at work by a boss or are bosses that bully, so they see that is something their kid will have to be, to be successful in the world. This is a clue, no a green flag for kids to continue their behavior.

I don't have kids but it seem as my aunt calls it, allot of parents have the Christ Called Syndrome. The threat their infant to kid as the if it was Christ with all the attention, and can't do no wrong. You can't change that such parents never see or want to see their child in a bad way because they have to do something about it. It is easier to let the kid bully other kids, making the kid apologizing then the work needed to change the kids behavior that the parent initiated by treated it like god. Of course this isn't he only situation, there is the kid who learns to bully because the parent is one and the kid is the victim that learns bully behavior.

How do you not create a bully? You have to do it through the parent and that is often impossible. You might be able to change a bully depending on the age, and the situation that exists at the home where the root of the kid being a bully is. But that is hard when in the adult world bullies are rewarded for being bullies.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:24 AM   #21
Buck
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Re: Bullying

I think too that many adults that come upon a situation of bullying will passively sides in some way with the bully if the behavior is on or not too much over the line, like at the verbal stage or at minimal physical contact. Approval by the adult of the bullies behavior and blame on the victim is done in a host of different passive ways. The adult unable or whatever will not clearly make the distinction between the bullies behavior and the victims behavior. In that adults eyes both are at fault in some justified way. This gives the bully a green flag with a pat on the wrist. The victim is given blame with the idea that it takes two to tango type of thingy, and is also scolded. Of Course if the bullies parent intervenes in a bully situation then their kid is rewarded in a host of ways, and where the victim suffers at the hand of two bullies.

The victim is left without getting the justice he is suppose to get. Instead, he is told or shown in a passive way from an adult his behavior is part of the problem. The bully sees this and is another reinforcement of his behavior toward others.

Parents who are keen to dealing with bully behavior will do the opposite and not doling out blame. They will not say to the victim why did you instigate the situation and cause the situation, that otherwise would have not existed. They will read the situation better and i.d. the bully and then scold him. But that takes time, and effort from adults who are often unwilling to learn how to diffuse bullies or are willing to support them. Now add the thing that the world reward bullies and you have one heck of a mountain to face.

I think, though it isn't a part of Aikido, that those who teach Aikido to kids learn professional anti-bully techniques teaching kids not to bully. That is if bullies join an Aikido class, which we all know it is the victims of bullies that join Aikido classes, bullies go else where. All 'n all it falls on the parents shoulders to teach their kids not to be bullies. Kids that are bullies usually have parents that support or are bullies, and will not change their kids behavior.

And the ironic solution than is not to become a target of victim of a bully. That means parent of these kids if they are not proactive need to be. Hence the high number of kids in martial arts as parents use martial arts as a crutch as a solution to the bullying of their kids or prevention. A very ineffective ironic band-aid imo to teach your kid to fight violence with violence by some one who teaches violence. What we need is...well that will never happen...well the reward for violence is too strong.

Last edited by Buck : 01-20-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:13 PM   #22
GuardianGatekeeper
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Re: Bullying

I always thought "man, they should teach Aikido in school...!" haha. I do a lot of people watching, and am one of those quiet kids... I noticed something about "bullying" that no lecturing teachers seem to pick up on. For some cultures, or groups of people from certain areas and places, making fun of each other is a game. It's not meant to really be taken at all personally, and is like a competition.. so next time you listen to some teens going at each other, look at their faces. They might be smiling. There's always definitely a chance that one of them is being very hurt by that the other is saying, but often people have these "insult matches" in good humor, to laugh at themselves and test their wits. I'm not really bullied at all these days, but I had been in the past. Looking back now, I think a few times, a "bully" was trying to initiate one of these matches with me. It's an odd dance of exchanged pointing out of insecurities and faults between two people who just want to have a laugh at the life that's bringing them down. If done right, this seems like a pretty healthy way to learn what others think you need to work on. The best insults are the ones that tell the -truth- about yo momma. I can't help but compare these insult matches with "push-hands" in Tai Chi. Another thing is, a lot of guys will go after other guys, and insult them like an unspoken challenge. I've done it. Girls get freaked out when we do this though, and think we're getting out feelings all stepped on... I've had some of my girl friends "stand up for me" and I hate to say it, but it is a little embarrassing. hey, sometimes it defiantly goes too far, and there's reason to worry about it, but most times when I'm messing with one of the friends, I'm perfectly fine, and there are no hard feelings! I think people should learn from some of the insults people give you. You might be a jerk yourself. Beating down on the little guy isn't what I'm talking about. I've found that raising an eyebrow throws some people off. If you're being bullied, don't just curl up in a ball and feel humiliated. Teasing is annoying, obnoxious, time wasting crap. Get that eyebrow up. Really. Bullies might not even know what a jerk they are. When you make them aware of it, without attacking back, you'll notice them breaking eye contact, and throwing a few more shots at you before turning around and pretending like you're not worth their time. (they know for a fact they aren't worth yours though.) Maybe there's a way to do this even more peacefully, too. I don't have much trouble with bulliest anymore though, to try things...
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:48 PM   #23
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Bullying

Dolan,

You bring up a good point in your first statement. In school we learn the rules of numbers, science, history, and maybe even a foreign language. In reality, this isn't used by everyone in everyday life. Probably the best thing learned from school (i'm talking grammar and high school) is how to behave socially...and this isn't really taught be curriculum so much as interaction with peers and teachers. Emotional training is something that would be used everyday for the rest of your life but is never taught formally (at school). How to react to difficult situations, have control over yourself, things of this nature are huge benefits of martial training. Without doing something difficult, one can never truly grow as a person. One needs a focus in their life (ie, the whole fish in the tank with a stone story). Having control of the body is the first step in controlling the rest of the self (at least one way to go about it). I think this type of training would result in less people becoming bullies, and less people succumbing to bullies.

About your "insult matches:" in my subculture in the US military these types of things go on all the time. It is a particular derivative of my specific job which includes training one to have a high level emotional control (making it a mark of professionalism to both, not succumb to verbal abuse, as well as come back with witty(er) remark of your own). For us, though, its done on such a continuous and common level that no one takes it seriously (most of the time). For those who are verbally abused at school, they are possibly somewhat sheltered and/or not very social. That being the case, verbal abuse is a unique and scary (b/c its uncomfortable) situation that they may have not developed coping mechanisms for.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:47 PM   #24
Melchizedek
 
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Re: Bullying

bully or not bully is just one of the two dimensional point of view (2D) and not least of our own understanding that our universe have far more dimension than this,

I am from the Philippines and we haven't got much support in our Government in educational & sports activities and most of our population where unemployed and one off many problems occurring every where is being violent.

I teach Aikido and use the money that our dojo generates for educational & sports purposes print out T-shirts sell books and more.

I say look straight in to their eyes and draw them into your spirit and prepare a table before them lead them guide them to be a better person, they say my students are bully`s I think not, because Aikido change Once self not you the world but those who hears it no one is born deaf even the deaf hears.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:27 AM   #25
jonreading
 
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Re: Bullying

Bullying behavior is a precursor to predatory behavior. Bullying exists in a number of forms, but it is passive-aggressive because bully tactic is a reconnaissance, not an attack itself. The goal of bully tactic is to evaluate the relative strength of the victim and assess whether [or not] that victim is a target for predatory behavior. The predatory behavior is the attack that antecedes the bully tactic.

In children, bully behavior is a natural response because they do not understand social context, so the violation may be innocent. In school, the same playground behavior that earns a trip to the principle's office would be lauded on a football field. Children can be confused by this double-standard because they do not yet understand the appropriate context in which to act. Of course, it can also be selfishly predatory (I like that doll, I want your snack, etc.).

As adults, bully behavior takes advantage of social context. Bullies know that aggressive behavior is not desirable. As many of these posts confirm, we are in fact committed to not being counter-aggressive in the face of aggression, but concilliatory. In this social context, the bully takes advantage of our committment.

I believe a key to defusing bully behavior is to return a non-predatory response to bully tactic, thus deterring predatory action. That response can range from verbal to physical, but it must contain the message, "I am not a victim." I believe the more skillfull we become at addressing conflict, the better we can focus our response thus soliciting maximum effect for minimum response.

A keen Chuck Norris stare with the quip, "I can kill you with this tea cup," will not suffice...unless you can back up that statement. (Mr. Norris can, by the way).

As a side comment, it takes a fair amount of courage to adequately respond to bully tactics because we naturally are adverse to conflict; there is nothing wrong with committment to peace. Some of the smallest mouths (i.e. non-talkers) out there on this topic have the largest voices when it comes to showing this courage.
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