Classes teach students to fight back, no violence included

Thursday, May 15th 2008, 7:34 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Martial arts experts are teaching kids to deal with bullies, but their message doesn't include violence.

In times at school, like recess, some children become victims of bullying. Chance Estep was a sixth-grader when he was picked on.

"They were just in class, and they started making fun of me," Estep said. "Then they got mad. We were in the hallway and then they started pushing me."

After the incident, Estep's parents enrolled him at the Legacy Martial Arts, where he learned about self-discipline.

The Tae Kwon Do instructors at the Legacy Martial Arts wanted to take what they know about self-discipline and teach a lesson to kids at school.

By showing off some moves to get them interested, the teachers were then able to convey to the children that it's important to walk away from a fight.

"I want them to not hit back," school teacher Michelle Beckham said. "If they're knocked down, don't jump up and run and try to hit."

The instructors said it's also important for the children to tell an adult about being bullied.

"That's what all martial arts is about, controlling your situation and what surrounds you by your movements," instructor Henry Beckham said. "You can't control other people, but you can control yourself."
Estep said it's a valuable lesson he's learned.

"You just have confidence that you can do stuff, so if someone were to try and jump you or something, you could just kind of fend them away and make a break for it," Estep said.