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The Art of No Bully.


As someone who was bullied to the point of exhaustion, but then came good through various channels and went on to become, what some would say, successful in life, I get tired and frustrated when certain instructors (and dare I say parents) offer a ‘one size fits all’ solution to bullying, “Smack them hard. They won’t bully you again.” Usually said person then goes about their everyday business without thinking of consequences or come back.


If only it were that simple. I’ve said it before, just because they are bullies doesn’t mean to say they can’t fight. In a fairytale world full of goblins and elves, wouldn’t that be nice?  But no, some bullies are actually capable of great violence.


I’m all for learning physical skills as a backup, as a counter to said great violence, be those skills Boxing, Wrestling, Martial Arts and so on and so forth, but far more important are non-contact life-changing/saving skills that give confidence. Things that would prevent the violence in the first place. After all, wouldn’t you rather prevent cancer than cure it?


Confidence will always win over, no doubt about it. Real confidence I mean, not bravado and bluster, nor bullshit and babbling. Confidence earnt the hard way, granted. Earnt through that physical training mentioned but also being taught communication and verbal skills, assertive body posture, all signals that say you are not (and I hate this word), a victim nor are you about to become one.


I am not suggesting backing down to every bully who comes your way (adult or child), or cowering and pleading for mercy. I am suggesting using more subtle tactics to move away unharmed and with no-pride lost.


The confidence to make eye contact, engage verbally and stand strong and tall. All this can and will make a difference, but of course, it is a given that the said physical skills are in place for plan b. But really, this nonsense, “Just hit them, they will go away.”? Simply not always true, you need to exhaust all the other possibilities in place before throwing your first punch.


Here is another piece of food for thought. The guy or girl you encouraged to “Just hit them”? What if they do and it all goes shit-shaped? What if that first punch/strike is thrown, and reaches the target only to be met with disdain and laughter, as it was thrown from a place of insecurity? What then?


You didn’t give your guy/girl the base of confidence to avoid the bullying, so what makes you think you gave them the confidence to throw anything worthwhile?


Give them the non-physical skills first, encourage them to use them, train them (yes, they need to be trained) and then equip them with the more serious solution. You will find that the former wins more often than not.


And here is your bonus ball. Nobody goes to hospital, and nobody goes to jail. I see that as a win/win. Don’t you?

Simon is available for seminars & talks both physically and online. Contact me, Julie, at 0 (+44) 7484 331472 or email

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