Bully Proof Your Child at Beaufort MMA

How does a parent in this day and age equip their children to defend themselves against bullies? More often than not, children are at the mercy of stronger, older children who can be both physically and emotionally offensive. Worst case scenarios have tragic outcomes for the victims including suicide and violence. Like Columbine, after years of abuse, troubled children have also taken extreme measures of revenge that can injure or kill blameless other children and adults.

To prepare for the inevitable tough situation in our schools and neighborhoods, Abe Stem, owner of Beaufort MMA, has created the eight-week Bullyproof Class for Kids. “This class is meant to provide your child with a sense for what makes a bully, how to avoid conflict and how to react to several bully situations.” Having two young children and one on the way, Abe is dedicated to children’s self-defense.

Beaufort Online (BOL): Do any children return to class and tell you stories about how they defended themselves?

Abe Stem says:

“Sometimes they do. One student told me how he was being smothered and choked by a bully at school, and he used some of the techniques he learned in class to escape. He was punished because he fought back while at school. But he did it in self-defense, and I told him that if he was telling me the truth about the circumstances, he did the right thing. Usually though, we use a non-violent approach.”

BOL: Do you explain to children when and how they should decide to fight back?

Abe Stem says:

“I tell the kids to try to get away from an attacker, but if someone is hurting them, they have the right to stop the attack. We also talk about the different levels of defense depending on who is attacking them. A smaller, weaker kid does not need to get punched as hard as you can hit them, whereas with an adult, anything goes.”

BOL: Name some of the best “moves” kids can use against a bigger kid to make a point.

Abe Stem says:

“Straight punches (like jabs and crosses) are good to keep an opponent away. Straight kicks, like a front or side kick, are great ranged attacks. For up close attacks, elbow and knee strikes do the most damage with the least chance of hurting yourself. If an attacker forces one of my students to the ground, we teach wrestling, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques which will nullify a bully’s size.”

BOL: Why don’t you recommend submissions (like chokes and armlocks) against other kids just to restrain them until help arrives?

Abe Stem says:

“Not everyone knows how to ‘tap out,’ and we don’t want another kid to be at risk for a serious injury like a dislocated elbow or knee. Again, the size of the attacker has a role to play in the necessity for violent attack. If the attacker is much bigger, the rules don’t matter.”

BOL: What do you tell a parent who asks, “What if my child gets in trouble defending himself because he has experience with martial arts?”

Abe Stem says:

“Unfortunately, schools are against any form of self-defense due to lawsuits and civil cases. So their policy is always to punish both parties in a fight. When it comes down to it, what is more important as a parent – to have your child get beat up and get into trouble anyways or have them protect themselves adequately and not have to worry about being attacked by that person again?

A child can only handle so much abuse from a bully until they lose all confidence and self-worth. By making a stand, the child doesn’t just defend themselves physically, but that act can help them gain confidence that will help them through any tough situation later in life.

There are definitely legal issues as kids get older, but we definitely address them in class, and one policy that we strongly emphasize is that when the attack stops, so does the retaliation. So if someone is backing away after getting punched in the nose, our students should also be backing away to create space while ready for another attack. There is no ‘finishing off an opponent’ in our self-defense philosophy. This can also keep kids from getting into those situations where the authorities are involved.”

The Bullyproof Class is an 8 week back-to-school special that helps your child learn self-reliance and the responsible use of self-defense. Other classes are also available for children at Beaufort MMA in the Beaufort Town Center.

To read more about the class, visit Beaufort MMA’s website: http://www.beaufortmma.com/bully-prevention-course-syllabus-at-beaufort-mma/

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