Prepare yourself for bullies with karate

Young Jesse Bell shows great form while they practice their karate moves. - Malcolm Chalmers
Young Jesse Bell shows great form while they practice their karate moves.
— image credit: Malcolm Chalmers

Learning to fight. Fending off bullies.

Only one of those scenarios is instrumental in the practice of martial arts.

And it’s not the one you might think.

A big part of mastering a martial art like karate is being able to defend against bullies, says Duncan’s Canada’s Best Karate instructor Jordan Giebel.

Working with bullies comes up in his instruction quite often.

“It comes out regularly,” he said. “It’s about showing your confidence, as well as respect towards others.

We will see students who start and are a little more afraid and timid and we watch them build their confidence.”

Not only is karate about practicing defensive skills, but it focuses on strengthening life skills such self-esteem and confidence as well as humility, personal responsibility and potential.

“It’s really for anyone interested in learning ways to help prevent certain scenarios,” said Giebel.

A martial arts instructor for 14 years, Giebel has sat in on many confidence workshops as well run classes himself in Duncan and Victoria.

It will be his first time teaching a bully-proofing workshop in Lake Cowichan Feb. 22.

Giebel just also started teaching karate classes at Centennial Hall on Feb. 7, which will run until March 7.

And he’s seen a lot of interest in the community.

“We’re going to see however many kids we can get,” he said of the free workshop geared towards children ages 5-12.

“I just started doing a program outside the rec centre (Centennial Hall) and I figured why not, there was a lot of interest.”

The workshop will cover a little bit of everything, including a chat first about what bullies are, and possible ways of dealing with the louts.

“First we will be talking about what a bully is and what the kids think they should do in situations," Giebel said.

“I’d like to see what ideas they can come up with first.”

Then the group will learn about body language, practice different scenarios and defensive techniques.

“And we will make it a fun karate class with a little bit of instruction and exercises at the end,” Giebel said.

Giebel invites anyone wanting to learn about bullying prevention to swing by.

The workshop takes place in the multi-purpose room at the Cowichan Lake Arena from 2 to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 250-749-6742.

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