This is a very interesting and complicated question, from my own personal experience, there were a few occasions I can remember being bullied but at the time could only interpret it as being attacked by children who for some reason or another did not like me. I remember an older brother of a boy who I was friends with in my class, attacking me outside of school and whipping the back of my legs with a pipe. Another occasion a couple of boys decided to wait for me up an alleyway after school and duff me up as they used to say.
There were always the so called nasty kids who picked on others in school, they have always existed and unfortunately always will.
At 12 years of age I remember seeing a martial arts movie on TV and I was hooked. I didn’t take up martial arts because of any bullying I just decided I wanted to do it.
After about 6 months of training I noticed all the so called nasty kids were ignoring me, I could walk past them and nothing was said, I can even remember having a conversation with the two kids that had duffed me over after school at the dinner table at school, and vividly saying to them, you wouldn’t dare try it now would you? They just sheepishly said no and we continued to talk about other things.
So had I suddenly become a fearsome fighter? I’m afraid not I was probably no better at fighting after 6 months of Karate training than the day of my first lesson. But I thought I was inside and that showed on the outside as confidence, I was training with older boys and stepping out of my comfort zone every week there were some characters in the training hall back then who were older, bigger and far better than me and this put the so called tough boys in my own age group in perspective suddenly I had no fear of them and they sensed it and kept away.
Unfortunately the truth is this, sometimes the bully only understands one language and you have to be prepared to get physical. Because there wont always be an adult or teacher there to stop things getting out of hand.
I teach all my children to avoid trouble and never ever turn into a bully and teach them as many conflict resolution skills as possible.
But when push come to shove, you have to be able to push and shove back, to get to a place of safety.
Anti- bullying is a real passion for me and I will go out of my way to help any child suffering from bullying.