On February 8th 2012, Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hosted an anti-bullying seminar in San Clemente, Orange County.  The seminar focused, as the title suggest, how to deal with bullies.  In our high tech society today, bullying has become more prevalent with advent of social media.  Young people don’t have safe haven anymore.  It used to be that if you were bullied at least you could go home and have a place that was your own domain, safe from any perpetual bullying.  This isn’t the case anymore.  Now children are being bullied online.  When they turn on the computer the first thing they see is a negative message that completely shatters their self-image.  They don’t have any real ways of defending themselves because they’re not meeting face-to-face.  Remember the days when you did something embarrassing but at least you could live it down later on in life? Not any more thanks to sites like youtube.com where everything we videotape has the potential to be seen round the world. As a result, young people begin to feel helpless and they let that attitude permeate in other areas of their lives.

            With all of this in mind, Sensei Paulo not only showed classic tried and true tested basic self-defense techniques but he also spoke about what it means to have a strong mentality and how to use self-confidence.  How you speak, how you carry yourself in relation to the world around you is the first step towards defending yourself against a bully.  Before the students even think about BJJ in a bully situation, Sensei Paulo explains that every bully situation can be diffused just by approaching someone in a calm manner.  Regardless of age, when someone tries to pick on us, replying and asking for an apology in a calm and mature manner is the last thing they expect.  Meeting someone half-way in an attempt to avoid confrontation is the ultimate goal of bully prevention.   You never know what can happen when you encounter a bully.  You can always talk before resorting to any type of violence.  In fact, resorting to BJJ when you can talk out a situation instead is the anti-thesis of Jiu-Jitsu; a waste of energy.

            Sensei Paulo, stressed form, discipline but also compassion, “Jiu-Jitsu is the only martial-art where I do not have to hurt the other person to defend myself…we can both go home.” This is where confidence comes in for young child.  Knowing they can defend themselves while realizing they have a responsibility towards others when training Jiu-Jitsu, even when they’re defending themselves.  When a person knows what they’re capable of and what they’re limits are in life, their character can flourish.  So to sum it up, the anti-bullying class was more about how we treat others and how we can be examples of responsibility towards are peers.  Anti-bullying isn’t about fighting it’s about dealing with problems in our life. As we grow older bullies take on different forms. Sometimes life can be a bully learning how to deal with it is just another aspect of survival. Stay tuned for more dates on more anti-bullying seminars.  See you on the mat.