Martial arts schools have the opportunity to play a leadership role in bullying awareness, education, and prevention. Hosting anti-bullying events, including seminars, workshops, and courses, can help reduce the negative impact of bullying in your community, while getting the word out about your martial arts school.
The Role of Martial Arts in the Anti-Bullying Movement
I founded Martial Artists Against Bullying (MAAB) because I believe that no other industry is in a better position to do something about bullying than the martial arts industry. The mission of MAAB is to enlist the international martial arts community in a unified effort to educate, inform, and help eradicate bullying.
Our anti-bullying program is designed to help children of all ages overcome the negative impact of bullying. Since we launched MAAB, hundreds of martial arts schools have hosted events, talks, and seminars with students around the country.
National Bullying Prevention Month
In 2006, the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) declared October to be National Bullying Prevention Month. The event offers a special opportunity for martial arts schools to raise awareness and education about how our industry can contribute to anti-bullying techniques.
At MAAB, we created a blueprint to help martial arts school owners plan, promote, and conduct a successful anti-bullying event, which we call the Done with Bullying program. The course can be shared with existing students or non-members at your facility, local school districts, or community centers.
What to Cover in Your Anti-Bullying Course
We recommend conducting the MAAB Done with Bullying course in four sessions (one per week) throughout the month of October to coincide with National Bully Prevention Month. Alternatively, you can present all four sessions during a single 4-hour seminar at any time during the year.
Anti-Bullying Event Session Topics:
- Session I: What is bullying? Why do people bully? Why is it bad to bully others?
- Session II: What should/shouldn’t we do when we see others being bullied?
- Session III: How should you deal with bullying?
- Session IV: “Buddying” & what to do instead of bullying.
Register for free with MAAB to access our full anti-bullying course program, which includes recommended scripts and activities for each lesson.
How to Market Your Anti-Bullying Event
Along with our course outline, MAAB provides a marketing plan to help martial arts school owners get maximum exposure and participation in their communities to take a stand against bullying. We’ve laid out a eight-week campaign plan that includes specific tasks for promotion and member engagement.
Week 1: Announce your participation in National Bully Prevention Month on social media. Commit to posting about the topic one to three times per week. Set dates for your four course sessions (or your one-day event).
Week 2: Promote your upcoming event dates via in-class announcements, posters, Facebook Events, email, and online event registration.
Week 3: Raise awareness about your anti-bullying event by reaching out to local news and media.
Week 4: Use every means possible to remind members and prospects to sign up for your first course session.
Week 5: The week of your first event, make sure your facility and staff are fully prepared. Send out reminders to attendees. Host a great event!
Week 6: Repeat the process for your second event session. Use photos, video, and media coverage from your first event to grow your second!
Week 7: Continue to grow your third session with social media and word of mouth.
Week 8: After the successful conclusion of your final event, request feedback and testimonials from students and parents. Share a recap of your month-long anti-bullying program with members through email and social media.
Taking a Stand Against Bullying
While anti-bullying events may be a part of the business strategy of many martial arts schools, I believe our industry has an even more significant role to play in the fight against the rise of bullying in our society. If every child had the opportunity to learn about bullying prevention, imagine the difference it would make in our communities. Together we can change the world, one lesson at a time.
A life-long Martial Arts professional and anti-bullying advocate, Dave Kovar has been teaching anti-bullying strategies to his students for over 35 years.