The Nedwich family – Charlie, Cathy, Ben, Jacob and Ethan – are all members of the PCYC Karate Club practising the Japan Karate-Do Ryubu-Kai style, and are firm believers that self defence training helps stop school bullying.
The Nedwich family – Charlie, Cathy, Ben, Jacob and Ethan – are all members of the PCYC Karate Club practising the Japan Karate-Do Ryubu-Kai style, and are firm believers that self defence training helps stop school bullying. Max Fleet

Self defence a weapon on bullying

THE bullying debate is heating up, with some Bundaberg residents advocating self defence as a weapon against the schoolyard scourge.

This follows reports the state’s newly appointed anti-bullying expert, psychologist Michael Carr-Greg, had encouraged the tactic.

While an Education Queensland spokesperson said Mr Carr-Greg had since denied making the comments, Bundaberg martial arts aficionados say self defence is a sensible solution to the problem.

PCYC Karate Club instructor John Simmons said he believed teaching kids to defend themselves with karate made them more confident, and therefore less likely to be bullied.

“It teaches them to walk away from conflict,” Mr Simmons said.

“They gain confidence which I don’t think bullies like. The bully is usually, in my opinion, someone with no confidence and is looking for someone weak, not someone confident.”

Another club instructor, Charlie Nedwich, said self defence did not cause fights, it stopped them.

“Karate is purely for self defence and only to be used when your life is in danger,” he said.

“I think teaching the kids to defend themselves is a good idea.”

Mr Nedwich’s three children and wife also take part in the sport.

“My kids haven’t had a problem with bullies that I know of,” he said.

“When kids get the self confidence that karate gives them, they learn to walk away from conflict.”

Mr Nedwich said teaching kids self defence would not only help the victims, but the bully as well.

“Bullies are unhappy with themselves and they are confused or unhappy so they pick on others,” he said.

“If they had the confidence that karate can give them, it would be a start.”

The karate teacher said arming kids with self defence was not likely to cause fights – rather it would prevent them.

“If they are taught in the right way, they won’t need to start fights,” he said.

“Karate gives you control of your body and mind.”

The NewsMail was unable to contact Mr Carr-Greg yesterday to speak about his stance.

If you are concerned that your child is being bullied or could be a bully themselves, head to www.bullyingnoway.com.au.



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