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Stop School Violence with Martial Arts
Part 4: Stop bullying early.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Introduction
• Part 2: Building Self-Esteem
• Part 3: Violence Not an Answer
• Part 4: Stop Bullying Early

 Related Resources
• Martial Arts: Beginners
• Martial Arts: Fitness
• Martial Arts: Kids
 From Other Guides
• Does Suburbia Breed Violence?
• Littleton Remembered
• Remembering Columbine
• Santana High School Shooting
• San Diego School Shootings
• Violence in Schools
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Sympathies for a Tormented Teen
• Understanding School Violence

In almost all of the school shooting incidents in the past few years, from Santee to Columbine, the shooters have all been kids who had endured many years of teasing and bullying. These kids had been outcasts for so long that they didn't care what happened to them--dying either by their own hand or by a police bullet was preferable to their current existence.

Once kids get to that breaking point, it's too late. After a few years of abuse, it's too late. The time to stop the problem is before it starts.

There is an ancient Chinese fable of a physician who was heralded throughout the country for his ability to cure patients. Knowing the great physician came from a family of healers, the emperor asked his doctor to describe his brothers' skills. "My eldest brother sees the shape of sickness before it takes hold, and by removing sources of sickness before they can infect, keeps his patients well. As a result, his name is never mentioned outside our village. My next eldest brother reacts to illness when it is still minute, thus stopping illnesses early, and as a result, his name is not known outside our province. But I draw blood and prescribe potions to the very sick, and as a result my name is known throughout the land."

In the same way, the more drastic measures, like gun control laws and school metal detectors, get the attention of the press and politicians, when simple preventative measures exist, and work. The simplest solutions are often the best, and prevention is always the best cure.

Martial arts training gives kids the confidence, self-esteem, and presence to discourage bullies from preying on them--or, to prevent them from becoming bullies themselves. By starting martial arts training while still young, kids acquire the skills and understanding that will help them later in life.

Martial arts training builds positive traits in kids. Martial arts might not be a cure-all, but as part of a comprehensive program, including anti-bullying programs and student / teacher / parent awareness, it can help kids who might feel "hopeless", as Santee High shooter Charles Andy Williams did, find value in themselves, their fellow students, and in life.

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