Adolescence is difficult enough — the coming of age within which one defines his/her identity while coping with the physical changes of growing up can influence a young individual’s mind enough. Then add in the potential for confrontations with bullies, along with the stress of making friends and performing well in school, and one can begin to see how a student’s self esteem may diminish.
At Shin-Gane, we don’t claim to have the cure to these frustrations anymore than a good parent, guardian or counselor. What we can do, however, is offer your child the tools to boost self confidence, even when outside stressors are tearing it down. Here’s how…
Three Disciplines of Aikido
Throughout our course offerings, Shin-Gane focuses on three main areas of discipline. These are as follows:
1. Respect Others
As an art form rooted in self-defense, Aikido is not designed for malicious intent. In fact, Aikido should only be used when there are no alternative solutions left to resolve a situation. As a result, it is widely accepted by all Aikidoka that every living creature should be treated with the utmost care and respect.
It is important for young individuals who are plagued by assailants, whether these are school bullies or otherwise, to know this: aggression is caused by internal or external conflicts. If a bully is exerting his/her conflicts upon another individual in the form of aggression, the bully in question is also in pain as he/she attempts to manage his/her strife, even if doing so in a negative way. Thus, a bully’s hostility should be recognized for what it is – an outlet for pain – and be respected as such.
2. Respect Oneself
The world is divided into three types of people:
- Those who know what they are capable of.
- Those who think they know what they are capable of.
- Those who have no idea what they are capable of.
Bullies tend to fall into the second category, while many victims of bullies are commonly subjected to the third category. However, with the proper knowledge and training in Aikido, even the most unassuming student can find himself/herself in the first category.
All an Aikidoka must remember is this: believe in yourself. Although you may be considered prey by your assailant, he/she does not know the skills you know, nor does he/she achieved harmony with his/her head and body. Keeping your training in mind, you know how to think and how to move in order to keep yourself safe.
3. Respect Aikido
Again, Aikido is a powerful tool that should only be used if and when absolutely necessary. Why? Because Aikido is a devastating martial art, and for good reason. If a student finds that there is no other alternative than to physically confront a bully, the teachings of Aikido should be executed carefully and with precision. The result will give any student, regardless of his/her size, the advantage over even the largest and strongest of assailants.
However, it should be greatly stressed that if a physical confrontation takes place, an Aikidoka should only disarm his/her opponent; damage beyond this point is considered a violation of Shin-Gane and Aikido, itself. Remember, all opponents are living beings who should be respected.
Triumph Over Trepidation
When helping a child boost self confidence for any reason – whether against bullies, in the classroom or during after school activities – it is important to let this child know that he/she is always capable of achieving victory over adversity. The power to overcome lies within; Aikido is simply the medium that channels that power out of the body and outward to prevail over the situation.
Want to learn more about Aikido and Shin-Gane’s teachings? We offer classes for various skill levels and ages — you are never too old to center your mind, hone your body and boost self confidence. We look forward to hearing from you.