When I was a 7th grader at Western Oaks, there was this mean scary kid in one of my classes named Cody. He was the typical middle school bully. He was bigger and older than everyone because he was stupid and flunked 4th grade. He smoked cigarettes and rode an old beat up bike. And every now and then before class started, he would randomly punch me or my friend Wes while we set in our desks and the teacher stood in the hallway.
Finally, one day Wes snapped and stood up to Cody. Wes, in a very angry 7th grade voice, said something like “I’m getting tired of you picking on us. You better stop…or else.” Surprisingly enough, Cody left us alone after that. Then, to make things better, a few days later he showed up to class crying because he learned he had to move away to live with his abusive father. It was awesome. I don’t know what happened to Cody, but I hope his life sucks and that he enjoys prison.
The reason I bring that up is because bullying is an inconvenient, yet somewhat necessary, part of growing up. Everyone has dealt with it in some form, and unless you’re really fragile or just weird, you learn from the experience and grow from it. For example, the Cody experience is a big reason why I only hangout with people who can protect me in a fight.
Anyway, now a Norman martial arts instructor is teaching kids how to deal with bullies with proper way…with karate!!! Wait, that’s not true. She’s teaching them something called “Verbal Judo.” From News 9:
Vision Martial Arts Academy in Norman teaches people of all ages self-defense. But the owner, Amber LaValley, has taken it a step further with her younger students, teaching them skills to fight back against bullies. Her technique, however, isn’t with kicks and hits, but with words.
“Most people say when you’re being bullied, just ignore the person which unfortunately may not always work,” said Amber LaValley, owner of Vision Martial Arts Academy. “So, we are offering suggestions to the kids on how to keep their calm and how to verbally diffuse the situation without having to ignore it and internalize what they’re feeling.”
It’s called Verbal Judo, where students use a series of word blocks to diffuse a confrontation with a bully. The words are sometimes humorous or apologetic, whatever it takes to stop a verbal confrontation from escalating to violence.
“They called me stupid,” said Jackson Blaylock, a 4th grader in LaValley’s class.
Blaylock said he was with some friends when he was called names. Instead of returning the name calling, he said used what he learned in class.
“I knew it was going to work, but I was still kind of nervous,” said Blaylock.
Saif Salim, also a 4th grader said he had the same success.
“I was once called stupid,” said Salim. “I used an apologetic word block and told them ‘I’m sorry, I understand you don’t like me, but could we not talk to each other or make a compromise?'”
Salim said his bully never bothered him again.
Yeah, I don’t know about this. I’m all for teaching kids how to stand up to bullies, but this is just wrong. Call me old school, but I still think the best way to deal with bullies is to learn Karate from an old Asian man who makes custom bonsai trees in his backyard. That’s what Clark Matthews did and look at him now.
If you are going to teach something as sissy’ish as “Verbal Judo,” at least give the kids something good to say. Don’t tell them to mutter a phrase like “I’m sorry, I understand you don’t like me, but could we not talk to each other or make a compromise?” That’s nothing but a invitation for an after school swirly and the nickname Douche Czar. Teach the kids to say “If you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to follow you around the cafeteria and drool like your retarded sister” or “I understand you don’t like me, but then again, I’m only a 12-year-old boy. You won’t like kids like me until you become a gay pedophile.” That will get a bully to leave you alone.
In fact, maybe I should volunteer to teach the class. I think it would be kind of fun, plus I’m pretty good at talking my way out of trouble. For example, I was able to meet Dave Morris’s angry hot wife at VZDs and didn’t get my ass kicked. Granted, I told her I would publish some photos of Dave Morris’ peeing while setting down if she wasn’t nice, but a little white lie has never hurt anyone.