Students learn how to stand up to bullies

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Bullying has become a major nation-wide problem.

Statistics from show that one in four kids are bullied on a regular basis, and nearly half of all students have dealt with some type of bullying.

The Grand Junction Martial Arts Research Systems gym is spending this week teaching kids from three to 13 years old how to deal with and defend themselves against school bullies.

“We learned self-defense and what to do if we are being threatened by a bully," said Chase Hudson, a student in the Bully Buster Camp.

Hudson, who is nine years old, has been taking martial arts classes for five years now. He said he has enjoyed learning how to protect himself for when he goes back to school.

This is why Jessica Kloeppel, Gym Manager for the Martial Arts Research Systems, said the class was started.

“Every seven minutes a child is bullied and we feel it's very important that they know how to deal with it and if things do get physical how to defend themselves," said Kloeppel.

The kids learned how to verbally diffuse a situation with a bully and in case that doesn't work they learned how to do some basic self-defense.

"A punch, or a back fist because in certain situations a back fist or a chop fist. A kick because can usually help, they're usually to the groin and it allows them to run away," said Kloeppel.

For the kids it may seem like a lot of fun, but they are actually learning skills that can help them with bullying and any other dangerous situations where they might need to defend themselves.

"Most important thing to do is find an adult they trust and talk to them…We do teach them that if it happens at school, and if they defend themselves there will be consequences, but we also want them to know it's okay to defend themselves," said Kloeppel.

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