Every day in the United States, an estimated 150,000 kids miss school due to fear or intimidation of bullies. In fact, many believe that fear of bullying may be the leading cause of low self-esteem in children. Worse, statistics suggest that less than 15% of kids actually report acts of bullying.
Children's inability to stand up to a bully is rooted in profound fear for their personal safety. The victims know that they must confront the bully and would like nothing more than to stand up to them. But, they simply can't follow through for fear of the physical harm that backs the bully's every action. And, therein lies the challenge – how do you instill in a victim of bullying the confidence to face the tormentor, look them in the eye, and back them down? The answer is simple – teach the victims to defend themselves against physical attack, and the rest will follow
Most martial arts programs rely on striking the attacker with violent punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. In the Gracie Bullyproof program, we take a different approach. All the techniques are purely defensive and utilize no strikes. Furthermore, we teach children how defuse confrontations with words and never to initiate physical aggression. If attacked, we offer techniques to non-violently neutralize the threat and gain control until help arrives. In the Gracie Bullyproof program, we teach the children how to fight fire with water.
The Gracie Bullyproof program has three objectives:
- Instill Confidence: Bullies are less likely to target self-confident children. We instill confidence by teaching techniques that will neutralize the attack of a larger opponent.
- Increase Awareness: Harassment from bullies can be physical or verbal and delivered at various intensity levels. In each lesson, we focus on teaching your child to recognize and respond to the most common physical and verbal bully behaviors.
- Ensure Readiness: Only when your child makes it clear that he/she will not tolerate the harassment, will they free themselves of the bully’s torment. We will prepare them for every common contingency.
The Character Development Program
Aside from preparing your child to deal with bullies, the other objective of the Gracie Bullyproof program is to instill in your child the character traits that will lead to success in all areas of life. There are six chapters in the Character Development Program: Responsibility, Health, Respect, Citizenship, Manners, and Caring – each of which your child will study for two months. We dedicate time in each class to address the featured trait and the simple things they can do to make the trait a part of their everyday lives. The secret to the success of this program is a very powerful point-based reward system that encourages each child to make the small character changes in their daily lives - on their own!
For more information, visit the GracieKids website at: http://www.gracieacademy.com/bully_proof.asp