As a parent in New York City, we go to great lengths preparing our child for life in the Big City. While Social Interaction, Academics and Art provide a strong foundation for our child’s success, these qualities may prove pointless without the most important requisite - Self-confidence.
How do we help them find the confidence to avoid intimidation, social pressure and physical threats that may compromise their self-esteem? This is why the Gracie Bullyproof Program® was developed.
The Gracie Family and Jiu Jitsu training for Kids.
Known as the creators of the UFC®. The Gracie Family is considered one of the most important families in martial arts history. While made famous for their successes in no-rules fighting, their intent was teaching the art and philosophy of Jiu Jitsu to empower individuals. For close to 100 years, they developed a system to cultivate their children into confident leaders through the practice of Jiu Jitsu. Believing that Jiu Jitsu is the most effective environment to safely teach them the art of self-defense. The Gracie Bullyproof Program® is the modern-day version of the curriculum the Gracie Family followed over the generations.
Facts and misconceptions about Bullying. What’s really at stake?
Most parents believe that self-defense is simply a physical response to a physical assault; that by teaching a child how to punch and kick, they are equipped to handle the challenges of being bullied. Parents often overlook the real impact: the psychological and emotional trauma on the child when victimized.
By Bullyproofing your child you’re equipping them with the mental, emotional, and physical fortitude to defend their self-worth. The Gracie Bullyproof® program builds your child’s confidence through a comprehensive self-defense program.
‘A problem well understood is a problem halve solved.’
- One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019)
- The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019)
- 49.8% of tweens (9 to 12 years old) said they experienced bullying at school and 14.5% of tweens shared they experienced bullying online. (Patchin & Hinduja, 2020)
The danger of Bullying isn’t from a single confrontation. Bruises and scrapes from fight heal quick, but being tormented over time lowers a child’s self-esteem, especially, during the most vulnerable stages of their development. It causes depression and compromises the relationship the child has with their loved.
Why the Gracie Bullyproof® program is the best self-defense program for kids in NYC?
Gracie Bullyproof® is the most comprehensive self-defense program for kids living in New York City. It takes a bottom-up approach to empowering your child by incorporating Mental, and Physical Self-defense countermeasures into a single cohesive program. At the conclusion of this program, not only will your child have the self-confidence to defend themselves but will also help and empower their peers. We follow a three-pronged approach:
Increased Awareness: Bullying rarely starts from a single incident. It usually comes in the form of slight harassment can may be disguised as ‘joking around.’ It may not seem so apparent to adults either. In this program we teach your child to differentiate between social play and subtle harassment, so they know precisely when and how to act in each circumstance, to nip the problem in the bud before it gets worse.
Unshakable Confidence: A confident child is a well-balanced child. They are adored by their friends; family and they bring out the best in people around them. Bullies often seek ‘easy targets’ – those, that do not have the self-esteem to respond wittingly. Our program encourages your child’s self-esteem by teaching Jiu Jitsu principles that overcome physical, verbal, and emotional harassment. By providing a supportive training environment, we help them deal with their challenges and provide them responses to common bullying scenarios. Your child can then have the confidence to experience the joys of their daily life and be free to express themselves as they grow into their own.
Total Responsibility: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’ – the Peter Parker proverb. Our curriculum includes character development lessons that emphasize responsibility, respect, and discipline throughout the course. We teach our students the ‘5 Rules of Engagement’ to ensure they don’t turn into bullies themselves. The 5 Rules of Engagement are:
Rule #1: Avoid the fight at all costs.
Rule #2: If physically attacked, defend yourself.
Rule #3: If verbally attacked, follow the Three T-steps (talk, tell, tackle).
Rule #4: Never punch or kick the bully, establish control and negotiate.
Rule #5: When applying submissions use minimal force and negotiate.
Unique features of our kids self-defense program.
Children will apply what they are taught. If the child is taught to kick and punch to defend themselves, they may feel reluctant to do so because: 1) they don’t want to get in trouble or 2) it may result in harmful injury to themselves or others. The Gracie Bullyproof® approach is empowering because the child has the power to diffuse most situations with verbal Jiu Jitsu and if necessary, can apply Non-violent self-defense techniques to defend themselves. The unique features to this program include:
Verbal Assertiveness Training: Through role-play we teach your child the appropriate verbal responses to the common scenarios they may encounter. They will be equipped to verbally respond with wit and resolve.
Non-violent Self-defense Techniques: Your child is taught to identify and establish their personal boundaries (mental, emotional and physical) so that they are ready to act with certainty should the bully steps over the line. They are taught 33 non-violent Jiu Jitsu techniques that doesn’t require striking the bully. Rather, they are taught to neutralize and negotiate with the bully to diffuse the situation.
Character Development Training: Because of the relationship we build with your child through training, we have the opportunity to teach them values that make a confident individual: Responsibility, Health, Respect, Citizenship, Manners, and Caring. We incorporate Character Development Chapters during our lessons. We spend 2 months to discuss each of these values and incentivize the child to incorporate it into their daily live. Upon completion of each Chapter, your child will earn a Gracie Character badge and is invited to Gracie Game Day, a 2-hour long event where they get to play tons of games with their classmates, teachers and parents. Once they attain all the Character Development badges, they may qualify for Black Belt Club.
Online Resource for Parents: You can accelerate your childs development not only by encouraging your them to participate in class, but to also practice the principles of Jiu jitsu at home with yourself, siblings, friends and family. Our online resource will provide you the tools to learn what we teach them with topics such as:
Parent Preparation – where we teach you the different drills and techniques your child practices in class.
Gracie Games - productive games you can play with your child to enhance their Jiu Jitsu movements.
Rules of Engagement – Reiterating to your child the responsibilities that come with the power of Jiu Jitsu, so that they can help others and avoid becoming a bully themselves.
Jr. Combatives – Learn the 33 non-violent Jiu Jitsu techniques with your child. Help them practice at home or learn them yourself.
Kids Safe - Empower your child against kidnappers and drugs with these six powerful mini courses: School Safety, Street Smarts, House Rules, Internet Danger, Emergency Escapes and Drug Defense.
The most comprehensive Jiu Jitsu program for Kids ages 5-12.
Little Champs (ages 5-7): Studies have shown that children at this age learn the most through play. With our time-tested ‘Gracie-Games’ program, we teach your child the foundational movements and leverage-based skills that serve as the foundation for their self-defense training.
Jr. Grapplers (ages 8-12): Studies have shown that children at this age are more confident in their movement and graceful coordination. They begin to model adults and appreciate social interactions. They are introduced to more precise self-defense drills which include the 33 non-violent self-defense techniques designed to ‘neutralize and negotiate’ with bullies. A significant part of this curriculum is in learning verbal assertiveness strategies and developing mental models to understand and manage bully behavior.
Blackbelt Club (Invitation Only)
Children who excel in Jr. Grapplers program by showing commitment to their training and possessing the traits learned from our character development program are invited to train in advanced Jiu Jitsu practice. They will be introduced to sparring and advanced level self-defense techniques to further enhance their skills.
How does the program work?
The program cycles through 33 carefully curated non-violent techniques your child can apply to neutralize the bully if attacked. For Little Champs (ages 5-7) we focus on building pre-requisite skills through gamification in preparation of learning these techniques.
During the class, we simulate real life situations through role play. Role play includes situational instances that we can apply verbal assertiveness training through role play, and guided escalation instances where a Jiu Jitsu technique will need to be applied.
Lessons are 45 minutes long and your child may attend from either once a week or as frequently as they like. Each class is a required lesson, the sooner they get through their requirements the sooner they move on to the next level of training. The training takes matted surface, and your child will train in a Jiu Jitsu uniform called a Gi. They may train in bare feet or with socks that have grip on them.
How do I get started?
By scheduling an appointment for your child’s first trial class.