How To Stop Bullying In Schools With Martial Arts – Terrence Fernandez

I’ve been pushed around and grabbed before,
but I never did anything. This was the first time I stopped and fought
back. So it got to the point where I was in front
of the canteen and I got put against the wall and exchanges happened and I don’t know any
boxing, so pretty much got bashed a bit first. And then I responded with a roundhouse kick
to the head. And after that, the fight stopped. The person I was fighting, after the roundhouse
kick to the head, stopped. And it was just a big shock, it was a shock
to everyone around me, but more importantly, it was a shock to me. It was a shock to me that I finally overcame
that choking feeling. GEORGE: Good day, this is George Fourie and
welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. So I have a guest with me today, Terrence
Fernandez and I was at The Main Event in Sydney, just a couple of weeks back and we sparked
this conversation about the topic of bullying. And something I really wanted to speak to
Terrence about, something he’s really passionate about, something he went through as a child,
but then there’s also things that I don’t want to neglect, as a Martial Arts Media business
podcast, that he’s got six locations, just opened his first location internationally
and opening another three next year. So there’s lots of value to this share on
the business side, but we’re probably going to start more and talk about the bullying
aspect, a topic that’s always hot within the martial arts community. And, yeah, as always, we’re going to see where
this conversation goes. So welcome to the show, Terrence. TERRENCE: Yeah, thank you, thank you for having
me. GEORGE: Alright, awesome. So as always, let’s just start from the beginning;
a bit of background from you, who is Terrence? TERRENCE: Yeah, I’m from Sydney Australia,
and the sport that I do is Taekwondo. And my club is called Martial Arts Spirit,
but basically, I was your average martial arts student, I was just trying to find a
place to belong. And you know I tried that through group sports,
like soccer and basketball and things like that, before I got enrolled into Taekwondo. And I didn’t quite find it in group sports
I think, with group sports, there’s a bit of pressure involved, and you’re expected
to perform, to achieve the goal of the team, whether it’s winning a match, or whatnot,
winning the season. And because I already lacked in confidence
and I wasn’t really good at any skills or coordination, being put into that team environment,
I felt like I was letting the team down. And through that, I experienced some bullying
in the team as well. Remember, I was playing for a soccer team,
and I didn’t know anything about soccer. Don’t know the rules, my family doesn’t? know anything about soccer, soccer was just
running around a field, kicking a ball. And you know, I think I was probably about
7 or 8 and I still remember the Saturday game, when I was constantly offside and not knowing
the rules. The team were getting really angry with me,
and their parents, the parents on the sidelines, were getting really frustrated with me, because
I didn’t? know what I was doing and I started getting
names. I was the only Asian person on the team. And it got to the point where I’d come to
training and just really be outcasted and isolated and I used to get spat on by my own
team. As a kid, it’s quite a lot to deal with, especially
when the first reason of trying to do a sport is to actually find a place to belong. So after that, I just got scarred from team
sports and that’s when my parents enrolled me into martial arts. GEORGE: And how old were you when this was
happening Terrence? TERRENCE: About 6 years old, and I got enrolled
into martial arts when I was about 7. Yeah, so I think something very, very important
that everyone needs to be aware of is, bullying, it doesn’t really matter how small or how
big the scale is, the end of it, you know, psychologically, can impact long term. So you know, there are quite a few things
that I remember as a kid in primary school and in high school, that I think about constantly. And even though I’m a completely different
person, there are still memories and I still remember the feeling of what it felt like
to be in those scenarios. And that’s why we’re here today, because there
are so many people, so many kids, and so many people in the workforce. Bullying is just a massive thing that isn’t
slowing down. And I think it’s really important that we
get the message out there, as to how to deal with these situations. GEORGE: For sure, it’s kind of counterintuitive
right? Because, when you think about it, a team sport
is there to build that team camaraderie and unity and everything. But then obviously, there’s going to be a
point where not everybody is going to be at that unit. So where it’s super beneficial for people
that are in the crowd and trying to do that, but I mean, what do you do when that’s not
your personality perhaps? Or that’s not your skillset? So you tried, you might have kids, and especially
in a school environment, you’ve got kids that are maybe super passionate about the sport
and trying it and here you re, and you’re trying to trick your way into this group. And you’ve got this thing, I want to be as
cool as them, but then you just get shut out. TERRENCE: And I think that’s the beautiful
thing about martial arts as a sport – not being biased at all. But with team sports, you automatically get
put into that competition side of the sport, where you’re preparing for a competition,
the outcome of the competition is to have fun – yes, it is to have fun, but the end
result of that competition is to win the game. The point of, say for example, soccer, is
to score more goals than the other team. That’s the goal and that’s what you’re trying
to achieve as a team, right? With martial arts, the beautiful thing about
martial arts is, there are so many different avenues. For example, Taekwondo – you can come in as
a white girl and? you’re… why… I related so well to martial arts was, it’s
an individual sport, so I can focus on my own pace, building up the skills needed to
achieve the next level. I can go at my own pace and I’m not expected
to be going as fast as everyone else. All right? You still get the support of a team, which
is your club, you build up the social skills, you have support from your other belts at
a beginner level, you do it together and the support of your instructor, and as we all
know, a martial arts instructor is completely different to a volunteer coach in a sports
team, you know? Martial arts instructor goes well beyond their
service of just teaching a kid how to punch or kick. They’re a role model, they help them build
up that confidence to get through life, you know? And that’s our role as instructors, not just
teach martial arts, but to help shape them into a good leader in society. So with martial arts, with Taekwondo, you’ve
got that option to just do the traditional side, where you can go at your own pace and
focus on building yourself up. And then, if you are that competitive person,
like you have in basketball or soccer, where they want to take that next step, all martial
arts offer that. They have their traditional side and they
have their sports side, where you go into competitions, whether it’s pattern, or sparring,
or XMA – you’ve got that whole side and there something for everyone. So for some kids that like to do sparring,
they’ve got that sparring side. For kids that love to just concentrate and
have that perfection type of mindset, they’ve got their forms. And for the kids that love to be fancy and
really test their body to the limits, you’ve got that XMA. So that’s the beautiful thing about martial
arts: it covers everything. It covers that personal growth that they might
just want to focus on. Or if they really want to challenge themselves,
they can go as far as the Olympic Games. So for me, how that related to me was, I didn’t
like the pressure from team sports and I just loved the traditional side of martial arts. But then, as I gained more confidence and
I started to realize more about myself, learned more about what I sought from, like I actually
have skills, I have something in me, some drive. I started pursuing the sport Taekwondo side
and tried to represent my country and the commonwealth goal. And just wanted to learn more about myself. And through that, through that journey of
discovering myself and realizing the drive and motivation I actually have in me, that
mindset, that strong mindset that martial arts taught me, then transmitted to business. So, you know, and that’s a beautiful thing. The skills that martial arts teach you, the
perseverance, the concentration – all of those are transferable into everyday life. So, I’m not being biased to martial arts,
but compared to other sports, martial arts is just awesome, especially for those kids
who are really trying to find themselves and that might lack in confidence, because they
don’t feel like they’re up to everyone else’s standard – martial arts is just beautiful
for that. GEORGE: So let’s go back to, you were 6-7
years old. Being bullied, I guess we should ask: why
do you think people are bullies? TERRENCE: That’s a very good question and
something that I think the answer needs to be educated more to parents. So for me, we’ve been teaching martial arts
a lot now and we’ve also got a program that is implemented in a lot of preschools around
New South Wales and South Australia. It’s a preschool program where we teach kids
martial arts in preschool. The reason why we stared that was because
I found that bullying starts as early as preschool. So we see it every day in preschools and the
more preschools we started teaching and then talking to my kids that are in primary school
and in high school and in the workforce, kind of see similar traits across all ages, as
to the bully, why they bully, and the target, why they target it. So before we go on to the target, let’s talk
about the bully, OK? A bully, why do they bully? They bully because they feel that they need
to have that superiority over someone that makes them feel safe, makes them feel that
they can’t be touched, OK? So the bully, the reason why they bully is
because of a lot of insecurities that they may have, which could have been caused through
their own life journey. You find a lot of people that used to get
bullied; they then become a bully if they’re not guided in the right way, OK? For example, if a kid is abused at home and
they’ve got all of this anger and frustration, they need an outlet and they feel that that
outlet is to put others down so that they can feel better about themselves. So yeah, they have a lot of insecurities and
they want to feel like they belong. So how they do that is, they try to humiliate
someone else to show everyone else that they’re tough, that they’re powerful. But really, deep down inside, they’re actually
just trying to belong and trying to make them still feel equal or better than everyone else. And unfortunately, for them to feel that,
they need to find a target. Now, when they look for a target, they look
for someone who they know isn’t going to challenge them, that they know they can psychologically
defeat, to avoid anything physical, so they know that they can defeat them psychologically
and they know they’re not even going to challenge them physically and it’s someone that they
know they can isolate. So someone that they know doesn’t have a strong
support network around them, so friends for example, who aren’t going to stand up for
that person. And when they find that target, that’s when
they pounce. So you ask why do people get bullied? They get bullied because they get found as
a target, they lack in confidence, they don’t know how to voice their opinion, they don’t
have a support network around them, so a good, solemn friendship base, or a network of people. And slowly, as their targeted to get bullied,
these low attributes that they have, then start spiraling into other things, like their
confidence drops even more, if they didn’t know how to express something before, when
they get bullied, they dive into a shell and they start holding everything inside even
more. So they don’t speak about their problems to
their parents, or to their friends, or to their school counselor or anything like that,
because they already had that weak attribute to begin with, you know? Of not being able to express themselves. When someone is bullying them, it really kills
me inside, because usually the targets that are getting bullied, they’re such beautiful
people, who don’t want to bother people, who don’t want to put any burden on other people. And because of this beautiful heart that they
have, they take it upon them to hold it to themselves and to just bury it inside. And slowly, slowly, the more that they do
this, it kills them. It kills them, slowly, slowly, and then sometimes,
unfortunately, it gets too much for them, and they break. And you know, I know I’m being very straight
forward with delivering this message, but, when it comes to bullying, we can’t really
just put it under the rug and think that it’s going to go away, like what school teachers
or bosses at the workforce do, they think, yeah, it will be alright, they will tell the
kid to stop doing it. They say they’re sorry, shake hands, and then
they forget about it. But it doesn’t happen like that. The more that the situation goes on, the target,
the more that these problems keep hitting them in the face. Two things will happen: one, they will either
snap and really deal with their problem front on and say, enough is enough, or two, they’re
just going to keep burying it inside and it will destroy them as a person. And we’ve seen countless times how many people
take their life because of bullying. And this is just because they”ve reached
the end of their road and they haven’t been able to express themselves and it just built
up, built up, built up and because they don’t have the knowledge of what to do or they don’t
have the support network around them, they give up. And this is something that we don’t want,
for anyone. So that’s why we’re here today, to try to
educate people more about bullying. GEORGE: Yes. I’ve got a few questions, just from that. Firstly, I just want to mention, I’ve recently
gone through, I guess I’m a lot more attentive to it now, because, my son is 12 years old
at this point in time. Recently got into the same type of situation,
a bullying situation at school. And he’s been doing martial arts for 7 years,
he’s a smaller kid, really, as you say, just a beautiful heart, nice kid. And although he can put me down when he wants
to, even in a play situation, he can take me down. But in a bullying situation, he was almost
crippled. He didn’t? want to defend himself, he got caught in a
headlock and he was almost more fearful of the consequences of getting suspended in school,
which put me in a bit of a situation and we’ve got a business group for martial arts school
owners on Facebook. And I posted a question; does martial art
really help against bullying? Obviously just, the question was more spurred
with frustration, but it did spark a really, really good conversation and martial arts
school owners chipping in and really talking about their experiences with it, frustration
with the system of how you go about combating the bullying. Because it’s almost like the bully is more
protected than the victim. And that’s something I said to the teacher
as well, hang on, there’s a bit of a double standard here. My son is fearful of the fact that, if he
had to defend himself, he’ll get suspended, but you’ve got a bully that’s allowed to bully
and I’m getting these vague messages, there’s consequences. And I’m like, but what are those consequences? Is it a slap on the wrist, because if I had
to do this in workspace and if I had to go do this in public, that’s a criminal offense. And I’d get charged for that. So how come that’s not? where’s the consequences in school? Where do you actually combat that at such
a high level? TERRENCE: Yeah well, I can relate to that
story really well. In primary school, because of my lack in confidence
and not knowing who I am, I had not friends. I was a kid in school, this is around year
8, OK? So picture primary school, walk around the
playground trying to kill time, because for lunch, I know my routine, just walk around
the school to kill time and the thing about being a victim is, you always care what people
think of you. So when I’d walk and be cautious about how
I walk, do I look funny when I walk and so on. So I was really outcasted, right? In high school, I tried to make that change
of, I need to make it a point to hang out with the popular kids. And I made it a point to hang out with the
popular kids and then, when it came to lunchtime, they would be walking around school, picking
on targets to bully. So then when that happened, I was like, no
way. This is not me, I can’t be this. So I hanged out, I felt sorry for the kids
they were bullying and I told them to back off and leave them alone. And I started hanging out with those kids,
which later, I will tell you about later, they were my first students. But yeah, I hanged out with those kids and
it made me the biggest target. So even in high school, I was walking around
and my usual high school lunch then became walking around the school again, like it was
in primary school. And I became the biggest target. When I say the biggest target, the bullies
stopped focusing on anyone else and would just focus on me. And it was things from, come to my locker,
my locker is being broken into, or, my books are in the bin, dumb texts on my chair. I was just walking around the school feeling
so much anxiety and having to know that, next period I have English. I have this bully, this bully, this bully
in the class. As soon as I get out of the class, I’ve got
to find out where they’re sitting and think about where I’m going to sit to avoid that
situation. It got to the point where you have to really
gather up so much energy just to get yourself to school. So the point I’m trying to make is, I dealt
with all of this buildup inside for so long and even though I knew I was a black belt
in Taekwondo, because I didn’t? have that confidence it gave them more reason to put
it on me, because they knew I wasn’t? going to challenge them. And the reason why I didn’t? challenge is lacking confidence, even though
I could just spiral and kick their head and all this type of stuff, you have that choking
feeling, when you’re confronted outside of your dojo premises. Because in a dojo, you understand the rules
of the game, you understand that it’s a safe environment that nothing is going to go wrong. But then when you take out yourself, and you
put yourself in a public environment and you’ve got everyone looking and challenging you,
you’re trying to battle with your own insecurities and the pressure again. You know that pressure that I was talking
about before? You’re then faced with that again in a school
environment and thinking of what everyone thinks of you and you’ve just got these bullies
in your face and you’re constantly having to deal with psychologically, every day, you
know? It’s all those different factors that get
in your face, you choke. You don’t remember what you’re taught in the
dojo, you don’t remember the skills. All you remember are your insecurities. All you remember is how much you just don’t
want to be there, how you just want to run and how you just want to avoid and that’s
what it comes back to. And that’s what causes the victim to just
choke and burry themselves. And I remember one specific scenario which
led to the next turning point in my life, complete turning point in my life, which relates
to your question: I went on a music excursion, going to the city. And these bullies were at the back of the
bus. And when I came into the bus, there were no
seats, except at the back. So I had to sit there and minded my own business. And then, someone had a whole bunch of lollies. And they just started throwing lollies at
each other around the bus, right? And then suddenly, I was the target, so six
of those guys at the back and they were just all throwing, one by one, lollies at me. And you know, me being the kid I am, I just
tried to pretend that the problem was going to go away and just hope that it’s going to
go away, which the victims will think. It didn’t?, so that bully behind me had chewing
gum and he put chewing gum in my hair without me realizing. I knew he was doing something, but I just
didn’t? want to aggravate the situation. So I just left it, but I didn’t know it was
actual chewing gum he was putting in my hair. And then when I found out, and I touched my
hair, I broke down. And as a boy in high school, breaking down,
just completely breaking down, tears and everything, it’s destroying, it destroys you, OK? Because you’re trying to hold on to some dignity
and at that point, you just know that it just killed you. You’re just lost. So I tried to get it out of my hair when I
went back home, but I couldn’t. So I had to go to the hairdresser and I had
to shave my head. So after that, my brothers were a lot younger,
so I had no one to really talk to at that point. And I didn’t talk to my parents, they didn’t
know anything that was happening and it just got too much for me. And that point was breaking point for me. I wanted to end life and I just had no more
energy to build up to go to school. I was already facing this thing of having
to go to school and face them and now I have to go to school again and everyone laugh at
me, because I got my head shaved and they know what happened to me and I just didn’t
want to face that. So before I actually executed what I planned,
my parents knew that I was acting weird and they came in my room and out of frustration
I told them what I wanted to do. And from there, they knew that something was
wrong. So they took me to counselors and with counseling,
I didn’t? quite get anything out of it, because as I
started to speak up, as I got comfortable and spoke up and broke down, I think it was
the first time that I realized that my problems weren’t just at school; it was at home as
well, I had a very negative relationship with my dad and all of that pressure that he was
putting on me and psychological damage that I was getting at home as well, was adding
a lot to my stress and to my anxiety. So obviously, when I started to open up about
that, my dad stopped sending me to the counselor. So that avenue got cut from me and I had to
deal with it again. So about two weeks later, I went back to school
and I had the courage to go back to school, and like usual at lunch time, if they found
me, they would go at me. And I snapped, it got to the point where I
reached the end of my road. I had no more options and I snapped. So I had a physical fight for the first time
in my life. You know, I’ve been pushed around and grabbed
before, but I never did anything. This was the first time I stepped and fought
back. So it got to the point where I was in front
of the canteen and I got put against the wall and exchanges happened and I don’t know any
boxing so pretty much got bashed a bit first. And then I responded with a roundhouse kick
to the head. And after that, the fight stopped. The person I was fighting, after the roundhouse
kick to the head, stopped. And there was just a big shock. It was a shock to everyone around me, but
more importantly, it was a shock to me. It was a shock to me that I finally overcame
that choking feeling. I finally overcame that feeling of being suppressed,
you know? Just the pressure and all the problems just
being suppressed and I finally just let go. And my training – I was already representing
Australia at that time, all that training just suddenly turned into that environment
where I felt relaxed and I felt responsive and I knew the surroundings around me, all
that training that you do, that suddenly came into play. After that roundhouse, I was like, hang on
a second, this is just like sparring. This is just like the gym; this is just like
that game. And after I kicked him and the fight stopped,
funny enough, I got suspended. I got suspended from school and that family
tried to charge me with assault. So the good thing was, that I already had
a track record at the school. I always reported when I was getting bullied. My parents always stepped in, which didn’t
help the matter. It made things worse sometimes. But the school had a record; the school had
a record of all the times I was being victimized. And when it came to this where I actually
did defend myself, because of that record, the parents? they didn’t congratulate me,
but they were proud of me. And everyone was, I was surprised to come
home and my parents were actually proud of me that I kicked someone in the face. Like, and I couldn’t understand that, I’m
like, I was so scared to come home and tell them that I got suspended. I got in trouble, but they actually high-fived
me, not because I kicked someone in the head, but because I was able to face my fears, you
know? And overcome that obstacle. And from that day, from that day onwards,
my life changed completely, completely. The next day I went to school and I went from
being no one, from walking around the school, trying to avoid people, to people coming up
to me and saying, oh, I heard about the fight, what not. And it was just a sign of relief for me that
it was all over. From that point on, it was all over. That group, they didn’t come after me again,
because they knew that I would challenge now, that I will stand my ground and that I had
confidence in myself now and I realized the abilities I have. And that if I’m pushed into a corner, I won’t
bark, I will bite. So it stopped from there, if one of them started,
another one would tease the bully, they would say, oh don, he’ll kick you in the head. So from there, it just changed. It was a domino effect that changed my whole
life, that one day. GEORGE: And how old were you then? TERRENCE: Where? GEORGE: At that time, how old were you then,
when that incident happened? TERRENCE: I was in year 8, it was term two
in year 8, so probably about 13-14 maybe. So a little bit younger than your own son. GEORGE: Yeah. So seven years so, that’s a fascinating story. TERRENCE: It takes a long time, it takes a
long time. It’s not… the matter can be changed (snaps
fingers) like that, the bullying situation can be changed like that, but the journey
to get there takes a long time. It’s about finding yourself, it’s about being
comfortable with who you are, believing in yourself and in a situation of self-defense,
learning the skills on how to defend yourself. And martial art does help against bullying
in all those ways. Your confidence gets built up, you as a person,
your character and how to deliver your message. They give you all the skills, they give you
the skill of how to defend yourself and they give you all that character development; but,
just like a coach would tell their student, they can tell you what to do, but unless they
do it for themselves, you don’t get the result that you want. And that journey of learning how to believe
in yourself and how to defend yourself in that scenario, that’s an individual process
and depending on the individual, it can take years like it did with me, 7 years, or it
could take a month. So it’s just about the individual and how
fast that person sees or discovers who they are. GEORGE: Yeah, it’s so interesting for me,
because I’m always about the mind and how the mind works. And things that you said earlier of how things
have affected you from being a kid to later, and you sometimes, as you evolve as a person,
you start questioning things that you’re doing, but I get angry at this, or I get frustrated
with this. And when you peel the layers back, it’s belief
systems that you’ve set up, it’s either just out of a habit, or out of fear of a situation
and that sort of shapes the way you go through life. And you know, you’re talking about the time
it took; I think, something I heard this week on a training, talking about: motivation runs
out, but if you have the habit and the discipline, the discipline will keep you going. No matter, where the motivation is, because
you’re going to find that training sucks, and you’re going to find that this sucks,
but if you’ve got the discipline to push through, then that’s what’s going to keep you going. And I think that’s so important, because like
you’ve said and like I’ve seen with my son as well, he’s got all the world’s training
and he can’t use it. It’s just, it’s crossing that line of, I don’t
want to do this, I don’t want to be this person. I’ve got my insecurities about all that, to
that point of, I snap and – that’s it. I’m not putting up with it anymore, I’m crossing
that line. And that was really what my question was about
in the martial arts group. Does martial art really help in bullying,
because it gives you all the tools and everything, but then, that real life situation is something
you cannot really prepare for. Because, I mean, you can have 5 or 10 of your
instructors pin you down in a corner, they’re still an element of trust in your mind, whereas,
I know my first bullying situation, and growing up in South Africa, it was probably completely
different, because I was with a friend on a jetty, fishing and I had an older kid look
at me and said, you – and this is the type of people they were, he said, “I’m going to
cut your throat and I’m waiting.” And he stood waiting. And I remember that element of fear like,
this is someone that would do it. He would do it, just because he didn’t like
me or whatever, whatever the case was. But I just remember that element of fear that
there’s this realness of a situation, where you can’t prepare for that. Because even in the dojo, you can prepare
physically, but that mental pressure of, I’m really in danger, like, this is life or death. How do you prepare for that? TERRENCE: So, it’s interesting that you say
that. You use that example of that guy; could you
actually try to understand the upbringing person of that kid? I mean, for him to have that type of persona,
can you imagine what that person has actually gone through to get to that stage? So, I think, with us, if we learn how to deal
with that situation right there, if you take a step back and as a parent, or as an instructor,
or a friend, you can kind of see a lot of flags before that even happens, you know? How old were you when that happened? GEORGE: I was probably about… I think I was about 8 years old, 8-9 years
old. TERRENCE: And how old was he? GEORGE: He was probably in his early teens. The funny thing is, I had… a kid that used
to hang out at the jetty, and was probably the scummiest, roughest kid ever. And he looked at me, and he said, don’t worry,
I’ve got you. And he walked with me off the jetty, walked
past that guy, he got on his bike, and he cycled home with me. It was a big lesson in life, you know, I looked
at this one kid that I thought was just the scruffiest, scummiest kid ever and he walked
with me and cycled home with me. It was just, now that I think back on it;
it was a multifaceted experience in that way. TERRENCE: Isn’t it crazy how you still remember
it and how it still damages you psychologically? You still remember that fear, you still remember
that isolation, you still remember that choking feeling. And that’s what I was talking about before. To go back to your question, if you look at
that teenager, it expands what I was saying before, about the need to feel superior, to
dominate over someone to make them feel better, and you being old as you are, 8, and him,
just a teenager, he knew that you’re an easy target. And unfortunately, something like that, it’s
a very difficult thing to deal with. Lucky for you, you weren’t alone, so I think
you not being alone definitely helped. And your friend, that scruffy friend you were
talking about – that’s what we want to build in society, people like that. People like that, that will help build that
support network, you know? Having that strong link next to you, whether
it is yourself that is the strong link, your friend, you know? And that’s what we want to build in our martial
arts students, to be that leader. To be that leader in society, to create that
change. And thankfully, you had one of those leaders
next to you that pulled you out of that scenario. But the actual bully himself, there’s a lot
of things that could have been done before, that could have helped change that person. And that’s one other attribute that martial
arts gives you, which could help prevent someone from being a bully. So when someone has these life experiences
that can either change them to doing negative outlets, like putting out the aggression on
someone, or stealing, or doing things to cry out that they need help: if martial art is
that thing, it will provide a positive outlet. So a positive outlet that they can channel
all of their negative energy, which was for me, all of these feeling from home and from
school, all of this negativity, and my outlet was training. Just continuous training and it was my serenity,
it was my place where I’d come and just belong, by myself. Be peaceful with myself and just focus on
myself and just train, you know? So I think there’s many things you can do
on, that can avoid these situations altogether. A bully finding a place where they can have
a support network, like a martial arts studio and have a good outlet to take out their negativity
on. And for your friend, for example or even yourself,
building up those characteristics on how to be a good leader. How to stop that scenario from happening. Building that link system, to be the strong
link, or to have a strong link with you. And that’s a beautiful thing about martial
arts, it helps both sides. So in terms of the actual scenario, obviously
not being isolated, not being by yourself and finding a safe environment. Finding other people to see. GEORGE: Awesome. Terrence, I’ve got one more question for you. I actually have two, but then we might go
on a whole new tangent. I might just stick to the one, for now. And it will be a good way to actually wrap
up our chat here. With everything you went through with bullying
and what happened at school, knowing what you’ve experienced through martial arts and
what you’ve learned, discipline and everything, what would you say to your 6 year old self,
in that situation, in that bullying situation if you had to go back in time? TERRENCE: That’s a good question. I think that, not just my 6-year-old self,
but anyone who is dealing with bullying at the moment, no matter what age they are, whether
they’re an adult, teenager, or in primary school; they need to remember that life is
a journey. Life is just a journey, where you’re continuously
learning about yourself and in life, you’ll always be tested. There will be many tests that come your way,
whether it’s financial, whether it’s being bullied, whether it’s relationship crisis,
or anything like that. There are many, many challenges in life. OK? And each challenge is an experience. An experience that you can learn from to better
yourself and to make yourself a stronger person. And as life goes on, as you get through each
obstacle each day, you learn from it. And by the end, you’ll come to a certain point
in your life, where through those experiences, you become confident and comfortable with
who you are, whether it’s being alone, whether you find it hard to make friends. You gain confidence and you become comfortable
with being in that scenario. So, if you look at all the successful – not
all, but most of the successful people in this world, they’ve all gone through many,
many experiences, and often you’ll find that they had to defeat it alone. But through that hardship, they’re now able
to face any obstacle and being independent, being comfortable with who they are and what
they can do, and knowing that they can overcome anything, any obstacle on their path, they
can overcome it now. And they don’t need help, they’re so strong,
their character is so strong. So I think anyone who’s in this situation
needs to understand that it’s a learning experience that will shape you and it’s always important
to be mindful of the direction that you’re going, whether you’re going towards a negative
way, realizing that that’s a negative path and a negative way about dealing with your
situation. And trying to find a positive outlet, a positive
way to learn from it, to deal with it and how to turn that negativity into a positive
experience that’s going to help you in your future, being a better version of yourself. So for me, that whole bullying experience,
it shaped the way I am today, it’s given me everything that I have today. My business, the skills I have of talking
with people. I couldn’t pick up a friend before or talk
to someone. I had that much anxiety. Now you can put me in front of 2000 people
and I’ll just talk. Because nothing is going to be as bad as what
the past has been. I’ve overcome everything and it doesn’t matter
what I get put today, the mindset applies. The same principles apply with, this is a
learning experience – what can I learn from this? How is this going to make me a better person
in the future? That’s it. GEORGE: Thanks a lot. Terrence, it’s been great speaking to you. And just before we wrap up, it makes me think:
everybody fears public speaking; people fear public speaking more than death. And my thinking is, well, maybe you haven’t
been in a situation where you’ve got to fear death. TERRENCE: Yeah. GEORGE: Because what you’re really saying
is, perspective, right? Because of perspective and that can almost
be the good thing about it. Yes, you had a bad experience and unfortunately,
it was horrific and it sucked, but when people are able to navigate through that, you build
up this resilience, I guess confidence in life that you can just take on bigger things
and better things for the future. TERRENCE: You just said it there. You were talking about that mindset of resilience
and how to use that to tackle the future; in its plainest form, resilience in the martial
arts dojo – isn’t that what martial art teaches you? Just on a basic level? Not to give up when you’re feeling sore, not
to give up when you’re losing on points or anything like that, to keep pushing through
if you can’t get a pattern to keep trying and to keep at it. Martial arts instill the platform and then
you build off that platform, as to how to apply these principles in your everyday life. So that’s how martial arts and the journey
of life really benefit each other. So back to that question you were asking,
does martial arts really help with bullying – yes, it does. It’s up to the individual on when they choose
to apply it in their everyday life. GEORGE: That’s what we learned. TERRENCE: Yeah. GEORGE: Awesome tips. Thank you for your time. Great topic and I’m definitely having you
on again for round 2, if we can maybe expand on this topic, or talk about the business
side of things. So if anybody wants to get in touch with you,
learn more about you, where can they do that? TERRENCE: I’m actually going to start a YouTube
platform pretty shortly. Everything to do with martial arts and topics
like this, bullying. I am very, very passionate about the fight
against bullying. So you can search us up on YouTube, I believe
George has got a link, easy for you to follow. Otherwise, you can just follow us on Instagram,
just coach_terrence and I’m passionate about martial arts, business and the fight against
bullying. So if you have any questions, just hit us
up and I’m happy to share whatever knowledge I have. GEORGE: Fantastic. Thanks a lot Terrence, speak to you soon. TERRENCE: Thank you, see you later.