Be There against Bullying



Lytle, Thomas K

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This project and thesis is a prevention and awareness campaign about bullying. What makes this campaign unique is that it utilizes martial arts principals (specifically karate discipline) as a foundation to help prevent bullying and help people who have experienced bullying. The end goal of this thesis is to help raise more awareness, provide free information, and create a different option for bully prevention through the means of visual communication. Bullying is an age-old issue, but it is now beginning to be taken as a serious matter. When President Obama was in office, he held a conference in which he wanted to address bullying. The goal of this conference, he said, was “ to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage, or an inevitable part of growing up; it’s not.” He continued, “Bullying can have destructive consequences for our young people. And it’s not something we have to accept” (Associated Press, 2011). Obama is correct in saying that bullying has destructive consequences, and it shouldn’t be taken as a rite of passage. Bullying is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly by anyone. There are plenty of resources for parents, children, and schools to help with bullying prevention now that it has been in the national spotlight; so, why has nothing changed? One study shows that any involvement in bullying, whether being a victim or the bully, creates a society in which we are unaffected by disrespect and disregard for others. Having these experiences and psychological effects turns us all numb to the situation and just creates a continuous cycle among all age groups (Swearer, Espelage, & Napolitano, 2009). If studies show that it is a continuous cycle, how do we make an impact that breaks the cycle? I believe we have to introduce principles at the psychological source that nullifies that “numbness.” I believe that martial arts can be that impact. Why Choose Martial Arts as a Starting Point for Bully Prevention? The first thing that automatically jumps to anyone’s mind is the physical aspect that karate teaches, but really, it teaches many attributes about individuals in their continuous growth that they never may have realized. One of the biggest attributes is confidence. Ryan Johnson, martial artist, instructor, and author of Bully*ology: How to Use Martial Arts to Stand Up for Yourself, Defeat Bullies and Show the World What You Can Do, heavily emphasizes confidence as the number-one self-defense when it comes to being bullied: “Martial arts teaches the weakest and the meekest among us to have confidence and that’s not by accident. Gaining confidence in martial arts is not accidental like it might be with many other activities. It’s very intentional. Martial arts is designed to take a student who’s lacking confidence and who is physically weak, and develop them into somebody who can stand up for themselves (Johnson, 2018). During my research into numerous martial artists, I found one common thread. They all had different ways to solve bullying issues and talked about the benefits of martial arts, but they never tied down a set of philosophies for someone to follow. This approach is what makes my campaign different. This campaign will undergo brand development and exploration with a final brand being developed. The brand will feature a strong message that this campaign will be able to use as its foundation. In order to communicate this brand, a logo will be developed, along with a website to help support itself in the digital space. This website will have detailed information about the martial art tenets that are the backbone of this campaign. The information will go into the specific physical stances, how to perform them, and how they are connected to the tenet. It will also explain the main reason on why these tenets are the guiding principals for bully prevention. The website URL will be



Bullying, Graphic design, Branding, Martial arts, Prevention, Awareness, Visual communication