Free workshop arms kids with tactics to beat bullies
BULLIED students across the Ipswich area could soon have the upper hand thanks to a renewed anti-bullying program.
Philip Graham of Elemental Martial Arts this week called upon frustrated parents and students to consider Brazilian Ju Jitsu as their solution.
Sadly, the prevalence of bullying in Ipswich schools made headlines late last year, with some labelled ‘the worst in the state for student suspensions.’
It is important to note, however, not all recorded suspensions were bullying-related.
Nonetheless, Mr Graham said the concerning revelation had partly inspired his mission.
The free sessions, held at the Darra headquarters, came about after the Irish native suffered severe bullying as a child.
He said he hoped to provide vulnerable children with practical skills to prevent similar instances or if needed, defend against and subdue an attacker.
“This is about the tenth time we’ve run this exact program, basically, it’s just a handful of mental, verbal and physical strategies to use when [bullies] make you uncomfortable,” he said.
He said strategies taught at the 30-minute sessions largely involved how to best to deter bullies through verbal communication.
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Physical strategies – or “notifications” – are also taught, including the ‘short sharp push’.
“Sometimes all a person really needs is a plan, and that plan can give you a lot of confidence to deal with certain things.”
“When we gave [our students] a very specific set of strategies, all of them found success in stopping bullying.”
If students wished to advance in Ju Jitsu, further training was also available at a cost.
“Level two is about them hitting some pads with some knees, some punches and some techniques that we call dirty boxing too,” said Mr Graham.
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“We wrestle a little bit to teach about framing and how to fight back, because if they’re forced to fight, it’s better to have some idea of what it actually feels like to really fight someone.”
The mission, he said, was to provide students with realistic combative techniques.
Mr Graham is, however, aware anti-violence campaigners might disapprove of his method.
“Part of the reason why I took up Brazilian Ju Jitsu over other martial arts like Muay Thai kickboxing is because I wanted to subdue people if they attempted to fight me,” he said.
“Sometimes when someone is using violence against you, the only strategies you have available is a sport like Ju Jitsu.”
“There are different strategies to meet different scenarios.”
Reports from parents revealed many previous students had enjoyed some reprieve from bullying once armed with the appropriate skills – and renewed confidence.
Parents who wish to enrol their children should contact Mr Graham on 0421 840 765.