In our classes at East Valley Martial Arts Kenshin Kan, the subject of bullying often comes up.  We talk about how to deal with bullies in schools as well as other places.  We promote using confidence and respect to prevent bully situations.  We talk about stepping in (in a smart manner) and helping victims if we should see bullying.  This includes parents and adults – if we see an apparent conflict between children, we have a responsibility to say, “Are things OK?  Do you need me to call your parents?” or, “Hey, what’s going on here?”  In karate, we go over the use of physical defense (as a last resort), and talk about many other ways to deal with bullies.

Here are 12 Ways to Walk Away with Confidence, which we have learned from Dr. Terrence Webster-Doyle’s book Parent’s Guide to Martial Arts:

1. Make friends
Treat the bully as a friend instead of an enemy.

2. Use humor
You can turn a threatening situation into a funny one.

3. Walk away
Don’t get into it—just walk away.

4. Use cleverness
Be creative and use your imagination to resolve conflict.

5. Agree with A bully
Let insults go—without fighting back.

6. Refuse to fight
The winner of a fight is the one who avoids it.

7. Stand up to a bully
Stick up for yourself. Just say NO! to bullying.

8. Scream / Yell
A powerful shout can end conflict before it starts.

9. Ignore the threat
Be like bamboo—bend in the wind.

10. Use authority
Call a proper authority to help you “defeat the bully.”

11. Reason with them

Use the most powerful tool you have—your brain.

12. Martial Arts stance
Be a victor—not a victim!

Dr. Webster-Doyle’s website is


-A staggering 160,000 children miss school each day because they’re afraid of attack, intimidation, or bullying.  (NEA)

-33% of special-needs kids have been targets of bullying.  (

-Children whose parents share ideas and talk often with them are 40% less likely to bully other kids, compared to children of parents who don’t do those things regularly.  (

-56% of mothers say they’ve ended a friendship because they thought someone’s child was a bad influence.  (

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