The story of the bullied teenager has taken an interesting twist. The mother said that the son had learned martial arts! Read the story here.
The mother did not mention what type and which martial art the son learned but she said :-
Although he was being bullied, her son resisted the urge to hit back at his tormentor, …
In another related story The Middle Ground news website interviewed the teenager. The story is here.
Towards the end of the story :-
We asked the boy: in all of the five months, did he think about fighting back?
He said no. Even though he has three years of Chinese martial arts training under his belt. “I shouldn’t whack him. I will get into trouble myself if I retaliated,” the teenager said.
It is quite surprising that the teenager was able to tolerate the bullying for 5 months and not reacted. He said he shouldn’t whack the bully. I wonder if he didn’t really mean “couldn’t” whack rather than “shouldn’t” whack.
It is one thing to learn martial arts. It is another thing to be able to competently use it or have the heart to use it. It is a delusion to think that just because we have the training we can use it. Reading between the lines I have my suspicion that the teenager probably knew that he does not stand a good chance if he fought and so he chose to tolerate it rather than fight back and end up receiving a more painful physical beating. This is smart and strategic thinking given the prevailing circumstances.
Proper martial arts will train your posture to exude confidence, the type that says touch me if you dare, that acts as deterrent against would be bullies. The contact training is to train you to react so as to be able to control your responses versus that of the opponent to increase your winning chances.
The one reason I can think of why a martial arts student dares not use his training is because all he has truly learned are exercises, forms and techniques that are not pressure-tested. This is why I said its better for beginners to take up MMA, Muay Thai and BJJ because these arts will put students through the pressure mill resulting in more confident practitioners. I think if that bullied teenager had learned BJJ he would have the bully on the ground and crying uncle in no time.
Readers asked why I didn’t mention Tai Chi as a viable self-defence method against bullies. The simple reason is because Tai Chi takes a longer time to learn. If you want a method that offers results in the short term give Tai Chi a miss. Tai Chi is better for students who find they cannot make further progress in their present method and want to try something different or they are at a stage where injury does not allow them to continue doing harder type of training.
Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Yang Style Combat Tai Chi lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today at the link here.