BULLIED children are turning to martial arts to combat classroom thugs – and coming out on top in other areas.
Sobukan Martial Arts director Chris Gillies, of Mitcham, said children who trained in martial arts learnt techniques to avoid bullying behaviour.
“A lot of the reasons people get bullied is they don’t have high self esteem or confidence,” he said.
“Martial arts give them confidence and the ability to walk away.”
Mr Gillies said that in his 20 years of teaching martial arts in Australia and Japan, he had taught many bullied children.
“Through martial arts, children become familiar with consequences, and they learn about power relationships,” he said.
Sixteen-year-old Angelo Belmonte, who has an intellectual disability, had been bullied in violent attacks his entire school life, until he started to learn the Korean style of tang soo do at the International Combative Martial Arts Academy in March.
His mother Pina Belmonte said the training had improved Angelo’s problem-solving, memory, balance and confidence.
“He hasn’t used the actual martial arts (at school), but it has helped his confidence,” she said.