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Stop School Violence with Martial Arts
Part 1: Far from promoting violence, martial arts training helps kids avoid it.
Seven-year old green belt Vicky Lim executes a high kick during her belt advancement test. School: Lima Tae Kwon Do, Culver City, California
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Building Self-Esteem
• Part 3: Violence Not an Answer
• Part 4: Stop Bullying Early

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"I feel it is tragic that this child felt he had no other choice but to do what he did to stop his tormentor. Every single incident like this can be traced back to some event or events in which other kids have been persecuting the shooter."

Santee: 2 dead, 13 wounded. El Cajon: 5 wounded. Almost two years after the Columbine incident, two school shootings, just three weeks apart, have shaken a community and the entire country. As with the other incidents, the cases are the same--a young, bullied kid lashes out after months of suffering.

The media and the world at large have condemned these kids. While their deeds are certainly in no way excusable, no one seems to identify their bullies, and the shooters' plight, as the root cause of their actions. The shooters involved, from Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine to "scrawny Andy" at Santee, all shared similar traits: they were "geeky", not athletic, treated as outcasts. They were all picked on for not fitting in. Suffering from low self-esteem, and feeling that they were alone and powerless, these kids were unable to identify any other means of stopping their tormentors except for a shooting rampage.

These kids chose a coward's way out. But lacking any other choices, what else could they have done? What could have given them alternatives to senseless killing?

The answer, of course, is martial arts training.

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