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Richard Machowicz, Ex-Navy SEAL, Zen Buddhist & Martial Artist: A Message to Nanny Statists

Courtesy of Black Belt Magazine

"I was a really small kid, a very light kid. There were bullies, but what I had to learn was how to take care of myself... In life, you gotta learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable!"

Amen!

Richard Machowicz: How to Deal With Bullies (Kids and the Martial Arts)

Published on Mar 12, 2012 by BlackBeltLLC

http://www.blackbeltmag.com?video=1

Richard "Mack" Machowicz is an ex-Navy SEAL, co-host of Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior and author of the book Unleash the Warrior Within. He's proficient in taekwondo and has studied muay Thai, kali, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Paul Vunak's take on jeet kune do. However, this SEAL Team hand-to-hand combat instructor was, as a kid, clueless when it came to how to deal with bullies.

"I had to deal with bullies all the time," Richard Machowicz explains. "I was a really small kid, a very light kid. There were bullies, but what I had to learn was how to take care of myself."

In the years since, Richard Machowicz has studied a variety of martial arts and had an extensive military career, so his is a story of survival and self-reinvention — but that's not always the case, as evidenced by headlines from across the country of kids committing suicide and regularly citing nonstop bullying as one of their primary reasons.

Richard Machowicz joined the military to develop the physicality and mentality that he did not have himself. "Even though I'd gone through a lot of tough times as a kid and could take pain pretty well — when I was 9, I spent four years in a place where the state sends juvenile delinquents — I had physical limitations," he explains. "I wanted to develop capabilities that would exceed them. That's the main reason I went in the military. I had a bunch of experiences on SEAL Team that allowed me to grow. It fostered the development of my thinking."

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Kids, of course, often don't have access to expensive military schools for such development. Most wouldn't want to go, anyway. Therefore, a viable alternative for development of self-esteem, physical prowess and mental acuity would be traditional martial arts training.

So Black Belt posed a question to Richard Machowicz:

Are parents reluctant to enroll their children in martial arts for fear that their kids — rather than learn how to deal with bullies — may, in fact, become aggressors themselves?

"I have no idea where that logic jump is coming from because that's not really what the martial arts are about," Richard Machowicz says.

"It's about discipline — self-discipline, which is the most important discipline. It's about body awareness, responsibility, loyalty, respect. These are all things that show up in a dojo. These are all things that you want your child to be able to use. This is how you succeed in life. Using all those skill sets [is] absolutely critical. As far as bullying's concerned, you're not going to run into that because of the martial arts."

In terms of how to deal with bullies, Richard Machowicz highlights some of the practical benefits of martial arts training for kids: "If your kid is being bullied, [do] the martial arts give you an avenue for the kid to be able to create ... distance? [Do they allow the child] to be able to stand up against a real threat?"



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