The gym originally scheduled the class for January, but it had to be postponed due to inclement weather.
Co-owner of the gym and chief instructor Jason Warren wants parents to know the clinic will focus on teaching children to deal with bullies in ways other than with physical force before they resort to fighting.
The class will discuss bully statistics, the different types of bullies, the effects of bullying, basic self-defense, leadership and more.
“The last thing we want a kid to have to do is physically use martial arts,” said Warren. “We want to go over a lot of conversation with them, go over awareness, what to do when the bullying has kind of taken over. We want them to know they’ve got to open communication with parents, with teachers, if they train with us to come to us. Our students are really good when they have these situations about coming to us”
Warren said he faced bullying when he was a child and became interested in martial arts when he was 9 years old. He wants to use his experience to help students who currently deal with bullies.
There will be two separate classes for different age groups. The 10-11:30 a.m. session will be for children 7-12 years old, and the 1:30-3 p.m. session will be for teenagers 13-17 years old.
“The situations between younger kids and teenagers is going to be a little bit different,” said Warren. “With teenagers, the kids are usually a lot meaner; they’re relentless. They go after one person, and they stay on them, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cyber bullying or whether it’s there in person. Kids can sometimes see a little bit of that, but not to the extreme of the older ones.”
According to Warren, the four types of bullying are verbal, physical, social and emotional and cyber, and bullying is becoming more prevalent.
“Anytime a kid has any kind of social media – whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat, anything – they need to be monitoring that,” said Warren. “You can’t just assume everything’s OK, and if they are being bullied, you need to be ready to pull them off there.”
For more information on the clinic or Success Martial Arts Center, visit smaclebanon.com or call 615-443-4783.