Taekwondo master Paul Mitchell hopes to eradicate bullying with his school programme ©Australian Taekwondo

A taekwondo master has led an initiative to help use the sport to eradicate bullying in Australia, and has asked for the support of the community to help children.

Paul Mitchell is calling for assistance from instructors for Australian Taekwondo programmes that he believes will solve the problem around the country.

However, he has said it is not about teaching children to attack.

Mitchell said: "The last thing I do is teach them how to fight.

"What you do is go in to build people, not fighters, and that's why we need to get taekwondo into every school."

According to the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, there are 543,000 bully perpetrators each year, instigating more than 45 million incidents in Australian schools.

Mitchell, United Taekwondo's master instructor, has published a book called Self-Confidence - The Martial Arts Way and has been inducted into the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

He has also been nominated for Australian of the Year.

Mitchell was bullied at six-years-old and struggled to overcome it until he discovered martial arts. 

Australian Taekwondo's programme has reportedly seen some schools see a large fall in bullying ©Australian Taekwondo
Australian Taekwondo's programme has reportedly seen some schools see a large fall in bullying ©Australian Taekwondo

He connected with the Active After School Community in 2006, that worked with 7,000 school students in 250 locations, helping him develop a passion to shape lives.

Mitchell added: "Adults and children should enjoy going to work and school, build lasting friendships and build the confidence to be successful in all areas of life.

"We need taekwondo in schools and we need it consistently.

"Three or four years later there won't be a bullying problem."

One school that took part in the programme in South-Western Sydney reported a 70 per cent drop in bullying with others seeing similar success, it is claimed.

Australian Taekwondo participation manager Ben Exton said the philosophy of the sport can influence young lives.

"As those within the community know, taekwondo is about respect and discipline," he said.

"It also teaches that we should work on our own growth and use that to help others grow.

"That's a powerful recipe for tackling bullying, and just having a successful life."

Australian Taekwondo's focus on school programmes will feature in an upcoming episode of its podcast, Australian Taekwondo Talk.