Check out this article Professor Marcio wrote on
Anti-Bullying for Kids
6 Steps to Getting Home Safe!
A guide for Kids and Adults
Written by Professor Marcio Nunes
A recent post from one of our members about being disrespected as she walked home inspired me to write this post. Having grown up in Brazil, I experienced firsthand being bullied, beat up, robbed and teased as I walked home from school. Learning Jiu Jitsu saved my life and I take every opportunity I can to share my knowledge on what to do when confronted by Bullies while walking home.
1. Walk with confidence. Keep your head up and your back straight. Bullies target people who appear weak and vulnerable. You may feel frightened and intimidated, but do not let the bullies sense this. If you notice a group of people in the distance that are behaving poorly and have the potential to be bullies, then choose a different route, even if it takes more time. Avoid areas that you know troubled groups hang out. I know we should all have the right to walk where we want; however avoiding dangerous situations is the first step of defence.
2. When possible walk in groups of 2 or more. Bullies target individuals or small groups.
3. First try to ignore the bullies and continue walking with confidence. If possible walk toward a group of people, such as a park, bus stop or store front. Bullies thrive on getting a reaction out of people. When they make someone upset, it feeds their sense of power. When they make someone respond back with anger and aggression, it gives them the excuse to use more aggression and violence, which they enjoy. If you are confronted by bullies on your way home, ignore them, and continue walking. Do not allow the bullies to sense that the words they are using are affecting you. More often than not they will leave you alone after a few minutes of trying to get a reaction out of you.
4. If the bullies continue to harass you and get in your face, appear confident and look them straight in the eye. Be assertive and loud by using phrases like “STOP”, “I will not tolerate this harassment”, “Don’t say that again”, “I will call the police if you do not stop”. Do not respond to the bullies with insults and demeaning words. This is the reaction that the bullies are looking for and it will continue their behaviour.
5. If you are being physically assaulted, scream for help, run toward a public space and call 911.
6. LEARN SELF-DEFENCE. This should probably be #1, but I wanted to give you strategies that you could use starting today. I may be biased, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most practical forms of self-defence in the world. It will teach you how to defend yourself without using punches and kicks. Jiu Jitsu was designed and created for the smaller, weaker opponent to be able to control and submit the larger, stronger opponent, using leverage and technique. Having the knowledge and confidence to be able to defend yourself, will allow you to walk around with a greater sense of safety and ease.