A Bully Prevention Program

Safe-guarding your child's emotional and physical health



Each year over 3.2 million students are bullied at school.   When I was growing up, the bully was the bigger kid that took your lunch money or hit your books out of your hands in the hall.  He or she made you sad or uneasy but most of us got over it and continued on when the end of day bell rang.  The reality for kids today is vastly different.  Bullying is different.  With access to social media, bullying happens 24-7.  Kids get no reprieve at the end of the school day.  We not only have to worry about the physical effects of bullying, but also the long term psychological effects. According to the National Association of School Psychologists:

  • Direct, physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.  Verbal abuse, on the other hand, remains constant.  The U.S. Department of Justice reports that younger students are more likely to be bullied than older students.

  • Bullies and victims are associated with school drop outs, poor psychosocial adjustments, criminal activity and other negative long-term consequences.

  •  Over two-thirds of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective. 

  • 25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or putdowns and consequently intervene in only 4% of bullying incidents


If you are a parent or guardian that worries about your child's emotional and physical safety, you've come to the right place. I was bullied as a kid.  I’ve been bullied as an adult.  It’s one of the biggest reasons I started martial arts.  I felt that I didn’t have any control and I wanted to take charge and be in charge of my personal space and my emotions. So at 16 I started Karate. The class was good but it didn’t grab me.  All the tough kids in my school were kickboxing so I joined their gym.  It felt good to not worry about forms and “katas” and jump right into hitting and kicking a bag.  The problem was, this gym was focused on competitions and I had no desire to compete so I didn’t get any attention. The alienation I felt from being bullied before was still there.  I stopped after 3 months but knew I still wanted to do martial arts.


Then I found Capoeira.  While Capoeira doesn’t dive in directly to self-defense, I found a group where I felt like I belonged. I went from being an outsider to an insider.  I was learning kicks and defenses and all kinds of other things.  It felt great and my confidence increased in leaps and bounds.  Along the way, I learned and trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  My body transformed and I became physically and mentally stronger.  My increased confidence allowed me to greatly improve my career and later open my own businesses.  


Back to the bullying.  I’ve spent a lot of time working in public schools as an administrator.  When bullying goes too far and gets physical it’s almost always the same series of events: Student A gets Student B upset, Student B pushes, hits, tackles etc Student A.  Both roll around and then a teacher or other adult comes and breaks it up.  Then the talks come with the students and their parents.  Both students end up getting a punishment because they were “both fighting”.  The parent of the student who was attacked first usually (but not always) says something along the lines of “we’ll accept the punishment but I will always have my child defend themselves”.... For years I struggled with this because


1) I hate seeing bullying in the first place.


2) Yes of course your child should defend themselves! But...


3) there are other ways to defend yourself that don’t involve hurting the aggressor.  This keeps your child safe, in control, AND out of trouble with the school.


Our Take Charge program uses the Bully Proof curriculum developed by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family. It takes the approach of “fighting fire with water”. All techniques are presented as fun and engaging games to students (i.e. tackling giants, stopping bank robbers). While your child plays, they learn critical skills like control and assertivness. The curriculum teaches the physical techniques that will give your child the confidence to avoid bullies in the first place in a non-violent way. We add to that 2 decades of experience in martial arts and the public schools that will ensure your child gets what they need to stay safe. Your child will learn:

  • verbal assertiveness

  • physical confidence

  • body awareness

  • non-violent self-defense

  • the tools to practice at home with a trusted adult

Our sister school in California implemented these games in their Capoeira program. Not only did the students love it, within weeks, one student used the techniques to defend herself on the playground. She was tackled by a little boy and was able to take control of the situation without harming him. Her father was blown away at how quickly she remembered to implement what she learned.


You be the judge. This month we are having free demos for you to experience this powerful program yourself!


We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our Take Charge program.  Contact us anytime at mico@capoeiragainesville.com or call, text 352-219-6106    

Defending your child when you're not there


1223 NW 101st Drive, Gainesville, FL 32606 E-mail: mico@capoeiragainesville.com Tel: 352-219-6106

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