Bullies love easy targets!
Sadly, although our education system is great here in Auckland we must face the reality that bullying still exists in Auckland schools. Whether verbal or physical the impact on the target (I prefer to use that word as opposed to victim) can be devastating. Bullying often occurs in the teen years just when young adults are building their self-esteem and finding their way in what is already a challenging world.
Fortunately, often the bully is a very easy person to profile. They have low self-esteem, are low achievers and are seeking something they can do to allow them to feel in control, to have power of a situation (something they otherwise get very little of). This makes avoiding them something that can also be profiled. They will often seek out the easy target as they certainly don’t want another failure on their hands. You will never see a bully go and pick a fight with someone they have not carefully selected as being an almost certain victory.
So, how does Karate help. Obviously the ability to defend yourself through management of distances, balance, escapes and if need be attacks is very useful. But more importantly just knowing you can do this also helps. Training Karate will build self-esteem, confidence, sense of achievement and many other positive traits. Without realising it the Karate student transforms into a more confident and outwardly positive person. These changes may not be immediately obvious to everyone but bullies target based on their primal senses to detect a weaker more vulnerable person. Just not being that person inside, conveys in your posture and energy and you become invisible to the bully in many cases. This confidence can also allow you to diffuse the situation early as the bully will not detect the sense of fear from you that he so needs in order to proceed safely (as he is sacred and looking to win, not strong and looking for an even match).
In the event that self-defence still becomes necessary then Karate properly studied as self-defence can teach you extremely useful techniques for defending, escaping and if need be attacking in order to stay safe.