As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. We want them to be thoughtful, kind, confident, compassionate people, and we do all we can to teach them these skills. What if there was another way to help your child build character, learn new skills, and increase their strength and confidence?
Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu owners Ray Lee and Bethany MacGillivray and their team of instructors have that magic touch to help your child develop all these qualities while having fun and being active in their Gracie Bullyproof program.
An officially Certified Training Center (CTC) of Gracie University, a self-defense martial arts system developed in California, Ray and Bethany’s team are authorized to teach self-defense programs to everyone, regardless of skill level, gender, race, nationality, or creed.
“Beyond the physical techniques, we emphasize awareness principles, risk assessment, and verbal and psychological strategies to help your child recognize bullying tactics and how to effectively communicate and set their boundaries with confidence. At Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu we empower students with the confidence, safety, and knowledge through a fun, structured, and sustainable practice of Jiu-Jitsu so they won’t feel the need to fight.”
-Ray Lee Co-Owner
Confidence from the Bullyproof Program
The goal of their Gracie Bullyproof program is to instill children with unshakable confidence so they can overcome bullies without violence. The program is broken down into three courses based on age and skill set:
- Little Champs (ages 5-7)
- Junior Grapplers (ages 8-12)
- Junior Combatives (ages 13-17)
The Little Champs program has a focus on games and fun through play-based learning activities. Using their time-tested “Gracie Games,” they teach the Little Champs basic self-defense techniques while instilling the foundational principles of leverage and control. The secret to the success of this program is that they make the lessons so fun that the kids want to come back again and again. Once a child masters all ten Gracie Games, they advance to the Junior Grapplers program.
In the Junior Grapplers program, they focus on 33 non-violent self-defense techniques that teach children to “neutralize and negotiate” with bullies. Verbal assertiveness strategies are a major portion of this curriculum. The students are given a card to track the moves they’ve learned and to follow their progress on an individual level. A child needs absolutely no experience to start, and they guarantee a noticeable increase in your child’s confidence within a few weeks!
Finally, the Junior Combatives, a program unique to Tri-Cities Gracie, youths are taught the 36 fundamental self-defense techniques in a safe, fun and collaborative training environment that maximizes structured learning. Ray and Bethany felt the teens needed a dedicated, safe space, time with their community and quality time with the instructors to help them overcome negative influences and peer pressure. With this program, they emphasize awareness principles, risk assessment, and verbal and psychological strategies to help your child recognize bullying tactics and how to effectively communicate and set their safe boundaries with confidence.
All ages are taught to use verbal assertiveness to deter bullies and several non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe. Most importantly, classes at Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu don’t teach how to punch or kick, since this often does more harm than good. Instead, they use leverage-based control holds to neutralize threats without violence.
“The bottom line is: we will prepare your child to defend themselves against bullies without turning them into one.”
– Ray Lee
In addition to teaching the physical art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, each month students focus on a character-building quality, for example – caring. Each class starts in a circle to stretch and talk about the monthly topic. Lessons are taught and conversations are had to get the children involved with the topic and learn how to apply the concepts in their daily life.
Studies in both the United States and Canada suggest that bullying may be the leading cause of low self-esteem in children, and according to some surveys, less than 15% of kids actually report acts of bullying. A child’s inability to stand up to a bully is rooted in profound fear for their personal safety. Ironically, the victims know that they must confront the bully and would like nothing more than to stand up to them. But, they simply can’t follow through for fear of the physical harm that backs the bully’s every action.
A 14-year-old Junior Combatives student had to apply her training and defend herself when she was bullied on-going by a boy in her class. She began training with Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and after just two months stood up to the bully. She used her words first and when the bully attempted to use physical force she was confident from her Junior Combatives training and was able to tackle him to the ground and neutralize the situation with positional control instead of violence. Her school, parents, and the Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu team were all very proud.
If you and your child are curious about the Gracie Bullyproof program or any of the adult training programs at Tri-Cities Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, there is an opportunity to try it for FREE. The free trial is for 10-consecutive days and includes complimentary uniform rental. To get started, fill out their online form here.