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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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!
The Gracie Bullyproof program is divided in three levels depending on the children age and knowledge:
Little Champs 5-7 Years Old
“We don’t teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, we play Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.”
At this age, children are not interested in learning martial arts, but they sure don’t mind “playing” martial arts. The Little Champs secret is that we have devised a series of 10 “Gracie Games” in which we secretly teach the children essential self-defense techniques. By playing the fun and challenging “Gracie Games,” children develop strong reflexes in the execution of the basic techniques, as they unconsciously learn the foundational principles of leverage and control. Once a child masters the Gracie Games, or turns 8 years old, we promote them to the Jr. Grapplers class.
Jr. Grapplers 8-14 Years Old
“Empower your child when they need it most.”
Since bullying is most prevalent in this age group, we teach the children in the Jr. Grapplers classes the 33 techniques they must know in order to defend themselves if physically attacked by a bully. The best part about the techniques is that they are totally non-violent, and are only applied in response to the physical aggression of a bully, ensuring that the techniques are never used for the wrong reason. Unlike most martial arts, which are unnecessarily violent, we do not use any punches or kicks. Instead, we teach the children to use leverage to establish control over the bully until help arrives. Once a child learns these techniques, they no longer have to live in fear, and the increased confidence this gives them is the single most effective deterrent to bullies.
Black Belt Club – Instructor Recommendation Only
“Once they have the fire and the focus, we’ll take them to the top.”
Jr. Grappler students who master the 33 techniques and display a very high level of focus will qualify to move on to the Black Belt Club. Simply put, we teach the children in the Black Belt Club like adults. We present the techniques at a level of detail that far exceeds that of the Jr. Grapplers class. The final objective at this level is to prepare the children for a smooth transition into the adult Gracie Jiu-Jitsu programs, and to instill in them the character traits and discipline necessary to make it to black belt.
View the class schedule