CARBONDALE, Colo. -
A new class is helping young children deal with bullying in an unconventional way.
The Gracie BullyProof program mixes self-defense practices with behavior training to help the students feel more confident in tricky situations.
The owner and head instructor of the Carbondale Gracie BullyProof Academy, Adam Nickamin, says the class is not about teaching kids how to fight, but to give them the tools they need to properly handle any confrontation.
"I give the children skills to neutralize and negotiate a situation, they won't hurt the bully, they're not learning to kick and punch ... If you take away the element of fear of being beaten up by a bigger kid or getting in trouble by their parents, there's no reason why a kid won't defend himself." said Nickamin.
BullyProof aims at not only teaching self defense techniques, but more importantly, self confidence.
"[Teaching them to] stand on their two feet, look them in the eyes and confidently say, 'Hey that hurts my feelings, stop doing that,'" said Nickamin.
The students are taught a behavioral skill set that will help them diffuse bad interactions.
"It's not just about techniques and how to defend yourself, it's mainly if you ever confront a bully, you want to negotiate with whatever he's doing bad and you want to take control if it's getting out of hand," said Eric Torrs, a 13-year old student.
Nickamin says, in just a few weeks, he sees a change in his students that they'll be able to carry with them for life.
"They are confident asking questions, they are confident looking adults in the eyes, things of that nature, that tells me that it's working.Click here
for more information on the Gracie BullyProof program.