Kids learn to stand up to bullying

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- We hear about bullying more and more these days, so there's no doubt, it's become a concern for many parents.

The "No More Bullying" class held at Gracie Barra is teaching kids self confidence and self-defense when it comes to standing up to bullies.

Local mom, Angela Lynch, knew it was a lesson her son Andrew needed to hear.

"It seems like it's definitely an issue with kids and you hear a lot about it," says Lynch.

That's why Lynch attended the first "No More Bullying" class held at Gracie Barra in Grand Junction.

"It's gonna be a really educational class and something he can benefit from," says Lynch.

The hands-on class is aimed at teaching kids how to stand up to bullying- starting with self-defense.

"Today we are going to go over some basic techniques with how to deal with bullying," said Gracie Barra owner Matt Busker.

Kids worked with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors and their peers to practice basic techniques against bullying. The first step is to walk away.

"We want to get away from the situation before it gets any worse," said Busker.

But instructor, Matt Busker, says walking away can be difficult... that's why the other steps teach kids to tell adults and even use physical protection if necessary.

"Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is known as the gentle art- we're self-defense first,” says Busker.

Busker notes children can get more than just anti-bullying techniques from the curriculum.

“Our program is about self defense, but like any martial art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instills a great sense of self confidence," says Busker.

School psychologist, Daniel Krenzer, helped with the class and he feels creating awareness about bullying is important. Bullying can even affect a child's attendance at school.

"Some risks involved with bullying such as a repeated victim of bullying, isn't going to feel good about going to school...may even miss days," said Krenzer.

For moms like Lynch, the class will not only help her son, but other kids who may be bullied as well.

“Also how to help other kids too, not just be a bystander and watch other kids get bullied," explained Lynch.

The anti-bullying curriculum began today and classes will be held every Saturday this month at the Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. The classes are free and available for children ages 5 to 13.

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