Jiu-jitsu gym offers free anti-bullying workshop

Jiu-jitsu gym offers free anti-bullying workshop

D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - With school back in session, there’s enough to worry about like homework, packing lunches and getting enough sleep. The last thing parents, teachers and students want to deal with are bullies.

“We don’t want anyone to fight, or to go and get into fights,” said Leonardo Delgado, a jiu-jitsu instructor.

On Saturday, the American Martial Art and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy opened its doors for a Parent & Child Anti-Bullying Workshop, teaching them how to protect themselves against common attacks like punches and rear tackles.

“I actually had issues with my son and bullying before. I just want to make sure he is prepared if he ever encounters those situations again," said parent Mario Hartaway.

According to stopbullying.gov about 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying. While most bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like the playground or the bus.

“Children have to be taught, adults have to be taught at an early age that bullying is not the right way to go,” Hartaway said.

Parents learned with their children so they could go home and practice the techniques with their kids, and make them feel like they can trust someone if they encounter a bully.

“And talking about these things with your kids, that they may be afraid or just not know how to tell you,” said Justin Donald, a jiu-jitsu instructor.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu emphasizes ground fighting, and since a lot of attackers try to get their victims on the ground, the instructors say it's important to have a strategy of what to do while you're there and also how to get back up.

Parents and children also learned to use the STOP method when dealing with bullies.

STOP stands for:

  • Speak Up.
  • Talk to the Bully.
  • Observe Surroundings.
  • Protect Yourself.

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