Should students use their skills against bullies? | Championship Martial Arts

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My daughter has been going to Championship Martial Arts-Cary for just over a year now. It was the best decision we've made signing her up for classes here. Her confidence has really soared since beginning karate. Shihan Jenny and all of the instructors are awesome! It really feels like a family here đź’ś

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CMA has been absolutely amazing for my son. The atmosphere and nurturing, yet challenging instructors have instilled pride, confidence, discipline, and fitness. Shihan Jenny and her team are second to none; they are phenomenal coaches, teachers, and masters of the craft-and make each session challenging and super fun at the same time! I recommend this experience to anyone from “little” to full-fledged Ninja!!

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My 12 yo son has been taking karate at CMA for almost 2 years now and I've seen tremendous growth in his attitude, confidence and maturity. He loves going to class and I love seeing him so excited to learn and refine his skills each week.

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The team of instructors at CMA are unmatched! I haven't seen a group of educators who know more about martial arts and child development. The first day that we stepped foot in their door, I was so nervous because nobody had ever been able to reach my child before. He was always anxious and had never found an activity that he actually WANTED to participate in. He told me that he was not going to participate-only watch. We arrived and in less than 30 seconds, Shihan Jenny had him participating with the group AND he was enjoying it!
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I absolutely love this place. My son has been attending this dojo for almost a year now. All of the children are taught positive attributes such as courage, courtesy, and confidence and they all resonate with encouragement for others and respect for their parents and staff. I also attend personal training here and have been so impressed with how wonderful the whole CMA family is!

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Shihan Jenny and her team of instructors help you dig deep to bring out your personal best, no matter your age. My daughter has been taking classes for 3 years and I've been there just over a year, our balance, coordination, health and confidence have improved dramatically. Karate is a great way to stay fit, and Championship Martial Arts, Cary is the best place for it!

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Championship Martial Arts is amazing! My two boys, now five and seven, have been enrolled in classes since they were three and a half years old. The instructors are highly skilled and Shihan Jenny is phenomenal with the students. Classes are structured, instructors are patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. We had several birthday parties at the dojo as well--and the boys loved it! My older son is taking classes almost daily and he would take multiple classes every day (he enjoys the classes that much!) Shihan Jenny has a way to motivate students to do their best and excel to their fullest potential. The integration of character traits into the karate curriculum is also impressive as the "Lesson of the Month" provides key life skills. I highly recommend Championship Martial Arts to anyone who is interested in the highest quality karate instruction available.

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I love this Dojo! The instructors are knowledgeable, patient and encouraging to all students. I feel very fortunate to be in the happy circumstance of being in the vicinity of such an excellent Karate school when I was looking for a place for my son. He absolutely loves it and I could not have asked for better. My father who studied Martial arts for over 40 years watched the instruction and students one time and gave Shihan Jenny the highest praise I have ever heard pass his lips. If you are looking for the best, look no further.

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A fantastic, supportive, and focused environment. From the instructor, Shihan Jenny, down to the younger instructors, the staff is well trained and equipped to handle all ages. A great experience in learning self defense, confidence and training for the body and mind. Reasonable costs and well worth the time in seeing the classes teach sportsmanship and a valuable skill.

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CMA is an amazing dojo. Shihan Jenny and the instructors are highly skilled and very good with kids. The students are pushed to reach their goals while having fun. It's a great environment where your child will learn respect, self discipline and confidence. I highly recommend Championship Martial Arts Cary.

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CMA , Can't say enough good things about CMA and Shihan Jenny and Sensei Chris for helping my son Sensei Christopher grow and develop into the awesome young man that he is at almost 18 years old now. I am so proud of his work ethic, integrity, helpfulness, respectfulness, and humbleness that I know has come from him being partly at CMA and from you working with him for nearly 8 or 9 years now. I cannot thank you both enough for your guidance and friendship as Christopher has had to deal with a lot of difficult times during these years. My hope is he will always continue to be able to call on you as friends and to continue his karate as long as he feels it's a support to him. Thank you so much.

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Shihan, Sempai’s and the other instructors and staff are great. Very quickly became a part of our family. Work very well with people from all ages (kids to adults). My 6 year old started when he was 5 and I have seen a much bigger difference in self control and respect. I too (along with my wife) joined as well and love it. I’m involved in several classes. Learn all types of techniques... from karate basics, self defense, katas to bushudo; and gets more challenging to push yourself in a non pressured way unlike other other dojos I have attended in my past or witnessed... not that CMA go easy on you AT ALL but they understand thresholds and capability and build from there and find what works best for you while still learning the tools you need to get you where you need to be. great in school tourneys, good for mind, body, and soul and a very positive atmosphere. Has helped my body recover from Medicsl issues as well as focusing my mind to get out of the day to day hassle we all deal with. Great release for stress, exercise, self defense and family atmosphere

Jason Hedrick reviewed Championship Martial Arts —
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I looked around quite a bit for a good karate studio for my son - we were looking for strength and decency, not just fighting. Most of the places I found were way more Cobra Kai than Mr. Miyagi, but one day we stopped in to the place beside our grocery store and found Championship Martial Arts. From the owner to the younger instructors, we found kind but serious, friendly but tough people that push my son in appropriate ways and require a lot from him - and he loves it. We also found a community of parents and long term students that is supportive and helpful. I wouldn't want to send my son anywhere else. I've often told people that if my kid ends up anything like the student instructors that are long term products of that program, that's okay with me.

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Should students use their skills against bullies?

So you enrolled your child in martial arts classes to help them deal with bullying, but what exactly does that mean?   What are your rules about defending themselves?  What are the school rules about student’s defending themselves?  The article below cuts to the heart of the matter and helps you work the educational system’s rules to hopefully stop the bullying before your child is forced to defend themselves.

 This article clearly discusses the Total Martial Arts Center’s point of view on dealing with bullying.

Dear Dojo,

The martial arts industry teaches a student self-control and restraint, and that the arts are used for defense only. So when one of your students gets bullied at school, at what point do you turn the child loose and say, “Take care of it”?

—Aaron Rumsey, Indiana

Dear Aaron,

Boy, how many students have we all mentored through experiences with bullies? It’s never easy.

Many schools have a zero-tolerance policy regarding fighting. While I understand the need for this, these policies handcuff students who would otherwise defend themselves and end future bullying and confrontations. In today’s litigious times, youths with martial arts skills must be careful to use their skills only in self-defense situations.

It’s so hard for a young student to understand that they’ve trained hard but that those skills can’t be used when they need them the most: protecting themselves from school bullies.

In the past, I’ve told students that they will never get in trouble with me if they defend themselves at school. If possible, though, I ask them to do some things first. For two of these steps, I recommend students write out statements and stick them in their backpack to read if they are unsure what to say:

1. If you feel threatened, talk to your principal or anyone in the school administration office. Read from your statement: “It’s your job to keep me safe while I’m in your school.”  Always tell someone at school what’s going on. They can’t and won’t help you if they don’t know you NEED help.

2. It’s natural to be afraid to talk to school administrators. No one wants to be labeled a “tattle tale.” But this isn’t like telling the teacher that Johnny is falling asleep in class. This is your safety we’re talking about. So if you need to, get a friend to go with you. You don’t have to do this alone.

3. Tell your parents everything. You might not want to, but you need to. They need to know what’s going on so that they can support you. Let them know that you’ve already spoken to school administrators. (This action and your prewritten statement will impress the heck out of them.) Together, come up with a game plan if the bullying escalates. Are they on board with you fighting back?

4. If nothing changes and the bully touches you in the least way, in a very LOUD voice, say, “Don’t touch me! Not now, not ever!” Make the biggest scene possible. Let everyone within earshot know what’s going on. Practice saying this statement at home with your parents or with your friends. Get used to saying it as loud as you can.

5. March to the principal’s office and to that same administrator you talked to before, say the following (or read from your statement): “I have permission from my parents and martial arts instructor to defend myself. I’m being bullied. You need to intervene before this escalates. Otherwise, if anyone gets hurt, it’s going to be your fault because I reported it. That’s negligence.” If you’re in high school, add this to your statement: “If I’m punished for defending myself and the penalty affects my GPA and my ability to secure scholarships to college, my family and I may have to sue the district for the resulting loss of scholarship dollars.”

6. Go back to class.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s not easy, but tell your student they will feel better standing up for themselves—even if they risk detention or expulsion—than being bullied.

Good luck to your student.

Taekwondocathy. “Should Students Use Their Skills against Bullies?” Dear Dojo, 17 Apr. 2019,