So here's the story.... Ryan is 11 years old and currently in grade 6, his last year of primary school. He has always been quite small for his age and somewhat more mature than most of his peers. Unfortunately, this has made him a target for bullies for the majority of his school life. By grade 3, he was bullied so badly, both emotionally and physically, every day, that he became a very sad and depressed little boy. I would go to school to pick him up and he would burst into tears the minute he got in the car. Somedays were worse than others. It wasn't just from kids being horrible and saying nasty things, or leaving him out. I'm talking, many occasions where it was physical bullying. One day he came home with a black eye and another day, a child had threatened to stab him. As you can imagine, the poor little guy didn't want to go to school. He didn't want to sleep at night because he knew when he got up he'd have to go to school, Not to mention the nightmares! His grades went from A's to barely passing. He'd beg me to stay home everyday. I spent a lot of time at the school trying to get it sorted out to no avail. I tried to get him to stand up for himself, but he wouldn't. He didn't want to hurt anyone or get them in trouble, he just wanted to fit in. To be accepted. To be included. To be able to go to school and learn, and to feel safe. After getting nowhere with the school, I decided to change his school for the 2nd time. I was desperate at this point to fix the problem by any means possible. I put him into a private school. It was fantastic and he was safe and happy. His grades were back up and he was enjoying school. Meanwhile I was struggling financially and with no other choice, I had to move him again. I sent him to a catholic school that I could afford. Surely it would be fine too right? No chance. The bullying started all over again, and he barely passed any of his subjects in that 6 months. Back on the merry go round, i moved him to the school he's at now. Now I bet you're thinking why the hell would you keep changing schools. Isn't that running away from your problems? All I can say is, that As a loving parent, you only want the best for your child and would do anything to keep them safe. When the school system fails to keep your child safe, you become desperate and do whatever it takes. How do you protect your child when you can't be there yourself? How do you build up their confidence and self esteem when it's being constantly torn down? Somewhere along the way, We found the answer for my son. Martial arts. It isn't an instant cure mind you. It's a gradual process. Ryan joined Sworsdmen Martial Arts Club about 2 and a half years ago. He decided that he would do Taekwando and Haidong Gumdo (Korean Swords)
Ryan really threw himself into it. He has put in 110% from the start and is as passionate about it now as he was when he started. He worked his little butt off and as he learnt more and earned higher belts, his confidence grew. He enters every competition that comes up, and every category he can enter, he does.
He doesn't always win the gold medal but he sure does have a lot of them.
He's competed on state level as well as national, and was even national age champion for Haidong Gumdo sparring.
Last year he earned his First Dan Blackbelt in Haidong Gumdo, and received recognition and a special medal for the highest grading.
He is working to earn his First Dan Blackbelt in Taekwando this year.
He now has the confidence to be able to stand up to people who try to bully him. He's grades are back up at school, he likes to spend time with his friends, and this year he was voted learning community representative for student council by the other students. It's all looking up for Ryan now and I want to keep encouraging him and building his self esteem.
It's been a bumpy road, but Ryan continues to amaze me with his dedication and perseverance. He works hard and shows compassion and understanding of someone far beyond his years.
He has come a long way since starting Taekwando and Haidong Gumdo, two and a half years ago. This year in July 2015, we want to send Ryan to Korea to represent Australia and Compete in the World Haidong Gumdo Federation, 2nd Mulympia.
Let's show them what a kid from Brisbane can do!
Any help would be greatly appreciated x
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