Gracie Bullyproof - Prepare Your Child for LifeThought for the day: My last few posts (Bullying Part I, Bullying Part II, Bullying Part III) have presented problems connected to bullying in our schools. In addition to highlighting the problem, I want to offer suggestions of programs that can help fight bullying. In my research, I came across the Gracie Jiu Jitsu & a video about Monique Coleman, actress from High School Musical & founder of Gimme Mo (a nonprofit organization producing online TV to empower teenagers). She went to Torrence CA to learn about the Gracie Jiu Jitsu program. (To see the 14 minute Gimme Mo' episode click here.) The technique teaches children non-violent control holds which they can use as a last resort against a bully. Although other programs may make children more aggressive, the Gracie Bullyproof program promotes non-violence, respect, discipline & compassion. The clip above explains their educational method. They help children do the moves & encouraging them, instead of correcting their mistakes. By building physical self-confidence, they believe it gives children the psychological strength & ability to stand up to bullies verbally, thereby avoiding the need for physical confrontations. They have taught these techniques to both children who have been the targets of bullies & to bullies. Interestingly, it helps both groups. The children who have been bullied learn to speak up & avoid being bullied. The bullies learn to treat others with respect.
I would like to see school systems learning more about programs like this one & offering them in Physical Education classes. If you know of this or similar programs that could help fight bullying, please share your thoughts & experiences. How have they helped your child? Together we can make a difference.