I think my child is bullying others – what should I do?

January 15th, 2012

I found this great article by a site called http://www.education.com/reference/article/my-child-is-a-bully/ and thought everyone should read it.  Typically its in the US because they always seem to be one step ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to things like this, nevertheless it’s well worth reading.

Your gut instinct is right; bullying must be taken seriously. There can be serious short- and long-term consequences for everyone involved, not just the victim of bullying.

The Committee for Children reports that:

  • Children who bully are more likely to experience a decline in their peer group status, which becomes more and more important in your child’s social development as they enter the teen years; and
  • Children who bully and continue this behavior as adults have greater difficulty developing and maintaining positive relationships.

It can be difficult to hear that your child is bullying others, but denial won’t help the situation. The first step is to talk with your child about what you have heard. KidsHealth recommends a few questions to ask your child that might help get the conversation started and help you understand the situation so you can take appropriate action:

  • How are things going at school and at home?
  • Are you being bullied?
  • Do you get along with other kids at school?
  • How do you treat other children?
  • What do you think about being considered a bully?

Signs that My Child Is a Bully

Given the short- and long-term consequences not only for victims but for the bullies as well, it is important to keep an eye out for signs that your child may be bullying others. The Committee for Children reports that a child who bullies may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Frequent name-calling (describing others as ‘wimps’ or ‘jerks’);
  • Regular bragging;
  • A need to always get his own way;
  • Spending a lot of time with younger or less powerful kids;
  • A lack of empathy for others; and
  • A defiant or hostile attitude (easily takes offense).

Tips to Help Your Child Stop Bullying

  • Schedule an appointment to talk with school staff such as your child’s teacher(s) and the school counselor. School staff that work with your child every day may be able to help you understand why your child is bullying and provide you with some tools to work with your child.
  • Explain to your child that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Stop any show of aggression you see, and talk about other ways your child can deal with the situation. Establish appropriate consequences for her actions such as taking away privileges and allowing your child to earn them back with appropriate behavior.
  • Examine behavior and interactions in your own home. Is there something at home that is encouraging this type of behavior such as violent media of some kind in the form of video games, television or movies? Are there interactions that may lower your child’s self-esteem such as constant teasing or taunting by a sibling? When you discipline your child, are you focusing on how the behavior is unacceptable rather than your child?
  • Talk with your child about who his friends are and what they do together. Peers can be very influential, especially for teens. If your child is hanging around with kids who bully and encourage bullying behavior, you may want talk with him about getting involved in activities that will help him make other friends.
  • Talk with the parents of your child’s peers about bullying. Discuss your concerns and what you can do together to change the behavior of your children.
  • Model respect, kindness and empathy. You are your child’s role model and she will learn to treat others with respect by watching you.
  • Consider talking to your child’s pediatrician about your child’s behavior. They may have some tips and they may be able to refer you to a mental health clinician that will be helpful in understanding and resolving the problem.
  • Be realistic. Your child’s behavior will not change over night. When you are talking with your child, try to focus on how the behavior is unacceptable, not your child, and show your support for your child with praise for appropriate behavior.
  • Continue to work and communicate with school staff as long as it takes. They should be your allies; working with you to not only put an end to your child’s bullying, but also to prevent any bullying in the school.

Tring Martial Arts – keeping our kids safe

Anti Bullying Advice

December 17th, 2011

Courtesy of Bullying UK 

Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it.

We all know that bullying goes on in every school but it’s the way it’s dealt with which makes the difference between life being tolerable or a misery.

How to solve the problem

If you are being bullied, tell a friend, tell a teacher and tell your parents. It won’t stop unless you do. It can be hard to do this so if you don’t feel you can do it in person it might be easier to write a note to your parents explaining how you feel, or perhaps confide in someone outside the immediate family, like a grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin and ask them to help you tell your parents what’s going on.

Your form tutor needs to know what is going on so try to find a time to tell him/her when it won’t be noticeable. You could stay behind on the pretext of needing help with some work. If you don’t feel you can do that, then go to the medical room and speak to the school nurse.

The best idea is if a teacher can catch the bullies red-handed. That way, you won’t get into bother from anyone for telling tales. It will be clear to everyone what has been going on. Don’t be tempted to hit back because you could get hurt or get into trouble.

Bullying includes:
  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Posting insulting messages on the internet or by IM (cyberbullying)
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Sending you offensive phone texts
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don’t want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them
Hitting someone is an assault.

Try to stay in safe areas of the school at break and lunchtime where there are plenty of other people. Bullies don’t like witnesses. If you are hurt at school, tell a teacher immediately and ask for it to be written down. Make sure you tell your parents.

Bullying is upsetting

Bullying is very upsetting and if you feel you can’t cope, tell your parents and go to see your doctor. Many doctors are very sympathetic about the effects of bullying and yours may be able to write a note for the school explaining the effect that bullying is having on your health.

You could think about judo or martial arts classes so that you are confident you can look after yourself if necessary.

If people are making nasty remarks about you then it may be because they are jealous. Perhaps you’re better looking than they are or work harder or perhaps the teachers like you better. One way of dealing with remarks is simply to say …yeah, whatever, …. each time so that you show them that it isn’t having the effect of upsetting you in the way they think.

The bullies will have worked out what buttons to push to make you upset.

They may make remarks about:
  • Your weight
  • Your looks
  • The colour of your hair
  • Your family
  • Your schoolwork
  • If you are popular
  • If you work hard
  • If you have a disability
  • If you are a different religion, colour or culture
  • If you wear spectacles or a hearing aid
  • If you have dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • If you’ve been off school due to illness

Bullying UK gets emails from pupils who have stopped eating because they’ve been called fat, or stupid because they have dyslexia. One girl tried to burn her freckles off because of cruel remarks.

The thing all these pupils had in common is that they were perfectly ordinary, nice people who had the misfortune to come up against a very nasty person.


Tring Martial Arts Black Belt Academy – Striving to keep our kids safe!

Poker Face!

December 2nd, 2011

Some young people don’t know how to respond to being teased and bullied and show the embarrassment and anger on their faces. This is what bullies and teasers want! They want to SEE it bother you! Once they see it bother you they will do it again and again to see the same reaction over and over again.

Use the Poker Face! The term “poker face” came about from the card game poker. The term is used to describe how people in the poker game are supposed to make a bets – they use a blank expression on their faces when betting money (the poker face) so the other people in the game cannot read the expression to find out if the person betting money is holding good cards or bad cards. If someone has a happy face on they have a good hand so the others in the game do not bet a lot of money. If someone has an angry or sad face on they have a bad hand so the others bet A LOT of money. Are you starting to get it? The secret to playing poker correctly is the “Poker Face.” The secret to dealing with bullying and teasing is the Poker Face! How? Well by keeping an emotionless and expressionless face on while being teased and/or bullied sends the other kid the message that the teasing and/bullying “WILL NOT GET TO ME NO MATTER WHAT!” This prevents the bully or teaser from thinking you are a good target for bullying or teasing. This works! Use it all the time! by Tom Letson NJ SAC LPC

Tring Martial Arts Academy – Keeping Kids Safe – Tel 0845 094 8805



November 13th, 2011

Posted by Christopher Allen 

Sadly there are often times when our children lack sufficient positive role models in and outside of school. This leaves the door wide open for influences that may not be compatible with the views and values you hold dear or want to pass on to your kids.

It doesn’t have to be this way! There is a solution to keeping your child “on track” and giving him/her the skills needed to succeed in today’s world…

Secret Revealed…

  Read the rest of this entry »

Personal Safety – its your responsibility

November 6th, 2011

Posted by Admin

Personal safety

The chances of you or a member of your family becoming a victim of violent crime are low. Violent crimes by strangers in public places are still rare and account for a very small part of recorded crime.

However, you can make yourself even less likely to be a victim of a violent crime, e.g. mugging or assault, by taking a few precautions. Many are common sense and may be things you already do.

Did you know…?

In 44% of all violent incidents, victims believed offenders to be under the influence of alcohol

There are different sections here for men and women because men and women experience crime and violent crime differently. It is important to remember this so that you can protect yourself as well as possible, but men and women will find points of interest in both sections.

You should think about how you would act in different situations before you are in them. Think about whether you would stay and defend yourself using reasonable force (See: Self defence), risking further injury, or whether you would give an attacker what they want, to avoid injury. There is nothing wrong with doing either, but you should think about the options – there will be no time to do so if you are attacked.

Self defence

In some situations it might be necessary for you to use force against others in order to protect yourself.

The law says that you can use reasonable force in self-defence or to protect another person in your property. The definition of ‘reasonable force’ depends on what the situation is and it may be decided in court after the event.

However, if you feel in danger and you think that using force might help you, then don’t be afraid to do so – always think of your own wellbeing first.

  • The force that is ‘reasonable’ to use depends on the threat you are facing. E.g. the level of force that you can use to defend your life is greater than the force you can use to defend your property
  • If a criminal complains that you used unreasonable force against them, the police will investigate. This does not necessarily mean that you will face criminal charges if you injure a criminal while defending yourself or your property
  • In the heat of the moment you may panic, so it may be hard for you to assess the level of danger you face. If charges are brought against you, the courts take account of your circumstances and they will make some allowances for ‘heat of the moment’ panic
  • The courts believe that if you only did what you honestly and instinctively thought necessary to prevent a crime, then that is strong evidence that you used ‘reasonable force’. Remember that courts try to use common sense and take account of what it would be like to be faced by a violent criminal
  • The law does not allow you to retaliate, for example if you try to punish a criminal who committed a crime against you or your family. Punishing criminals is for the courts to decide and the courts do not accept people taking the law into their own hands

Tring Martial Arts offers reality based self defence classes so that you can practice Personal Safety, 99% is NOT physical, its about being aware of your surroundings and being able to deal with situations in a calm and clear manner.  Come and learn from the experts! See www.tringmartialarts.com or call 0845 094 8805

Am I being followed?

October 31st, 2011

posted by Christopher Allen, Tring Krav Maga

Question: Have you ever thought you were being followed? What do you do?

If you think you are being followed: Make a sudden turn, cross the street, accelerate, or go into a nearby business. If being followed by a car, reverse your direction – it will take them a much longer time to turn around and they will likely just continue on to find a different target. If you are unable to shake the follower, turn around and scream, “What do you want?” in your most indignant voice. This is likely to embarrass the innocent and frighten off a large portion of potential attackers. If this doesn’t work, now you must:

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Non Verbal Communication – A guide to reducing the risk of being bullied

October 20th, 2011

Posted by Admin

Believe it or not, words and language are actually your SECONDARY form of communication. That’s right, whether you’re aware of it or not, your main form of communication is not transmitted verbally, but rather nonverbally. Read the rest of this entry »

You’ll never meet a shy black belt

October 16th, 2011

Written by Christopher Allen

“You will never meet a shy black belt”, this statement for me sums up the mentality and character of a person who has trained hard and made many sacrifices in their pursuit of the legendary black belt.  The black belt is really only a length of cotton, but the significance of the belt for both the wearers and others who encounter them is amazing.  Martial Artists who have trained with me at Tring Martial Arts, have spent many years developing both their fitness and skill, and when you devote your life to a particular pursuit the confidence in your own abilities increases, and if you can endure 100 rounds of kickboxing or a 4 – 5 hour grading (for 1st Dan Black Belt) then you will be outwardly confident and this will radiate to potential bullies.

Bullies tend to pick on people they recognise as “victims” or those they think they can victimise.  Sadly, like a Hyena in the wild, they prey upon the weak and vulnerable.

If you or your child has little or no confidence, is shy or you feel he needs to “toughen up”, then I thoroughly recommend that you enrol them with a professional martial arts club, look for one that’s emphasis is on both the physical and mental conditioning aspects of the martial arts.  This way they will learn about respect, discipline and have an understanding of when and more importantly when not to use their skills.

Tring Martial Arts offers our own life skills programme which ties into our training and syllabus for children aged 6 – 10 years.  We don’t believe that martial arts should be taught to children younger than this because they need to have a sense of responsibility and some common sense.

see our website www.tringmartialarts.com or call us on 0845 094 8805


Can I learn from someone younger than me – a case of social bullying??

October 2nd, 2011

Posted by Christopher Allen – Tring Martial Arts Blog – click here for link to original article

I posted this article on my Tring Martial Arts Tumblr blog page at the end of September 2011, but have been suprised by how many people have contacted me regarding it.  It seems that many people in all walks of life have faced challenges either to their ability or knowledge and more frequently through discrimination over their sex and age (or both).

I thought therefore I would re-post this article on Tring Anti Bullying, under Workplace Bullying.  I hope that readers of this blog will find this article useful, perhaps people will think twice about their criticism of others when they recognise that their comments and actions could be received as bullying.

Does a river not start with a small spring high up in the hills?

The other day I was approached in the street by a man in his mid to late 40’s, he was interested in coming to learn Kickboxing, he looked at my polo shirt and noticed it said “Chief Instructor”, he remarked that he had never met an instructor younger than him, and that he might find it difficult to take instruction from someone of my age (36). I was shocked, but upon reflection I wasn’t suprised, its a comment or thought that I have faced many times in my career as an instructor.

What I find most peculiar is that a student, and even sometimes a black belt student feels that should someone younger than them be responsible for a class, that in some way the instruction doesn’t apply to them. I think a culprit for this could be the stereotypical martial art master, as depicted in the Kill Bill films and others of the genre, yes age does carry alot of gravitas and certainly the longer you spend honing your art, the more rounded the instructor you will be. But everyone can learn from others.

Black Belt students achieve much whilst training, but there is a sad and disturbing fact that many of the students who reach this lofty goal, forget the role that their instructors played in getting them to this pinnacle of achievement. They forget the many times their instructors spent encouraging and nuturing them, instead they can forget that the path of a martial artist is about self development not self fulfilment, we must strive to be the best person when can be, not just the best fighter, we must strive to be humble. In fact, even if we reach 10th Dan, we still have so much to learn and know that we still have much to learn.

There is one important fact that I will always remember, even though I teach full time, I am still a student of Martial Arts, I can still learn, even from those younger than me. For instance, I went on a Tai Chi course a couple of years ago to train with a Chinese man called Master Wang Xun of Zhengzhou, Henan Province in China. He was 27 years old and ironically, he started training in the martial arts with his father when he was 9 years old, the same time I had started. Did I think that this younger man couldn’t teach me anything? Did I think that because of my status, rank or experience I should disrespect him by messing about or by trying to look down at him, (both literally and metaphorically)? No, of course not, I learnt so much from him, my tai chi practice improved dramatically!

Over the years I have attended many seminars, courses and other events, I’ve met and trained with instructors who are amazing in their abilities and their capabilities as instructors, many of whom were younger than me. I have many certificates and awards, but the most important one is my White Belt certificate, it reminds me of where I started and how far I have come, it also reminds me that I still have much to learn and to give.

Can a Man learn from an Animal?

Lets take a look back, far back in the early Chinese civilisation, who’s society formed centuries before ours in the West. There, Monks of Shaolin and other locations became the victims of bandits, they needed to defend themselves and chose to replicate the movements of animals. (Monkey, Snake, Tiger, White Crane) These animals were certainly not as old as the monks, yet their movements were revered.

If we want to learn to improve ourselves, to be the ultimate martial artist, then we must remember that we can learn from anyone.

My message is this, if a monk can learn to defend himself by copying an animal, then we can learn from any human, regardless of age!

Christopher Allen

Tring Martial Arts

Bullying Advice

September 27th, 2011


Children are as much at risk from other children as they are from adults. This is most commonly in the form of bullying, although children can also be bullied by an adult.

If you are being bullied, you can phone ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Advice from Kidscape:

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