American Morning

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October 6th, 2010
06:27 AM ET

Fighting back against bullies

(CNN) – Is it a smart idea to teach your child how to stand up to a Bully? What happens when your child continues to be a target and the Bully won’t back down? Some parents are turning to Martial Arts.

A new course called “Bullyproof” teaches children how to thwart an attack using Jiu-Jitsu techniques. The course, teaches the three T's: Talk your way out. Tell an adult. And, as the last resort, and only when attacked, Tackle the bully. Then, if the person attacks you physically, grab him in a bear hug and take him down to pin and safely hold until rescue comes. The aim is to provide self-confidence and the physical skills for self-defense. Different age groups are taught different techniques.

In the Jr. Grapplers classes the 15 essential techniques they must know in order to defend themselves if attacked. The techniques are all non-violent control tactics designed to minimize injury to the bully if used during a real fight. To keep it fun, brothers Rener and Ryron Gracie advocate positive reinforcement as opposed to nit-picking details - participation, not perfection.

We head to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu headquarters in Torrance, California to observe the class, talk to the instructors who created the program, find out why parents choose to enroll their children, and we talk to the kids about bullying and what the class has meant to them.

Filed under: AM Original • American Morning • Bullying
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Peggi

    I am so happy to see more awareness of this painful subject! I was bullied, my husband was bullied, now my son is. It is so hard to be bullied, 100 times harder to watch it happen to your own son.

    I would like to comment that we are Christian. I saw some of the comments, and unfortunately, that is how alot of us are perceived. I would like to show you another side of the coin. My son is autistic (asperger's); with Asperger's, there is a 100% chance of being bullied. I won't go through all the reasons why, just know that it is. If he didn't have his strong belief, he would have given up long ago. In my little family of 3, we teach love is right-if you are lucky enough to find love, keep it. No matter what. (this, btw, goes against what our church family believes, what the Good Book teaches.) Jesus taught love and forebearance. But, He also got angry. This taught my son it was ok to feel those emotions also. Now, he looks around his very small school (22 kids, K-8th grade), and sees it happening with other, weaker kids. Now, if he wasn't Christian, wasnt the kid he is, he wouldn't bother helping the bullied now.

    Although I am very happy to see bullying being put on the front burner, I am unhappy it had to come to this before something, or someone, is doing something about it. Why wait til it got to the gays? Why didn't something happen when the special ed kids got bullied? Or the kids who were geeks? Why now? There was death before. Why now? Oh. I get it. It's an election year, and it's a hot button topic. Excuse me if I sound angry, but my son would not have been bullied, if all these things that are happening now, happened then.

    October 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  2. Casey Wilson

    This is most definitely the best thing I have ever seen in terms of helping bully victims.

    October 12, 2010 at 3:51 am |
  3. Kerry

    While I appreciate your concern regarding the laws of self defense, there is a reason why jui-jitsu means the "gentle art". There is no punching or kicking really in the BullyProofing class. In the "Bullyproofing" classes, it's more about submissions. Being able to hold down a bully and detain him (or her) without having to strike out at the other child. Not only have I been training for years, but my wife and five year old daughter train as well. In fact, my daughter will hopefully be receiving her Yellow belt for her sixth birthday. She trains at Gracie Morumbi, this is from our schools website:
    Discipline, self-confidence, respect, integrity, teamwork and responsibility are some of the core principles for personal success. These values, however, are rarely taught to children in schools. At Gracie Morumbi, the practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is seen as a means to individual growth, and our Kids and Juniors Program emphasizes development of character.
    The kids and Juniors Jiu-Jitsu program is designed to:

    Teach a complete self-defense system that will give children a high degree of self-confidence.
    Teach children how to intelligently cope with bullying and peer pressure.
    Teach positive social values such as respect, honesty, humility, and dignity.
    Help children get along with others and to treat others with respect.

    We offer fun and instructional classes for kids. The kid’s program integrates sport and self-defense techniques with conditioning and skill oriented games aimed at improving your child’s coordination, motor skills, agility and flexibility.

    October 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  4. Nathan

    This martial art is amazing, but what takes my breath away is the culture that pervades it – starting with the Gracie family and all the way to the gym where I train. I am excited for my kids to be big enough to participate in this fun sport. I will absolutely use all the resources that the Gracie Bullyproof program makes available in my area to help my children develop confidence and the skills to control bullying situations.

    October 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  5. Jan Lind-Sherman

    Please correct the blog address on the retired seattle teacher comment to:

    October 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  6. Jan Lind-Sherman

    I am a retired teacher from an inner-city elementary school and have seen many incidents of classroom and playground bullying over twenty-five years. My middle school granddaughter just told me about bullying she had witnessed in class and asked for suggestions. This prompted my blog called Bully Be Gone. To get a complete run down read the blog, but for this comment section the bullying was over a pencil and name calling. Strategies could include embarrassing the bully, giving strong "I" messages, asking the bully a question and getting teachers to add suggestion boxes for anonymous tips or class meetings to avoid being labeled a tattletale or narc. Read more at

    October 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  7. Eric

    I have been practicing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for 3 years now and have recently gotten my son involved. I have trained with Rener and several other members of the Gracie family. They are all top notch instructors. Rener Gracie has a great teaching methodology and a great rapport with all that he come into contact with. My son loves GJJ and self confidence have improved greatly. Kudos to all that the Gracies have done for the world. Everyone thinks that it is all UFC and Royce, but the entire family has dedicated themselves to this art.

    October 11, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  8. Bill Jordan

    Gracie jiu-jitsu is very helpful in building self confidence & self reliance.

    October 11, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  9. Torok

    As a police officer and father I am impressed with the Bullyproof program and the philosophy behind it.

    There is an emergent need for RESPECT to be brought back into the society we live in today.

    The Gracie's Bullyproof program is a legitimate extension of the parental hand that reinforces the values and morals of decent, kind, courteous, RESPECTFUL and non-confrontational members of the communities that we live in.

    Bullyproof provides our children with the skills, and thus the confidence to deal with bullies without stooping to the bully's level.

    This in itself can be a lesson to the bully, showing them that situations can be resolved calmly and peacefully, and that their victims can control the bully's attacks without resorting to extreme violence.

    October 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  10. Alejo Robles

    Hello to everyone,
    My name is Alejo, and I want to support this program offered by the Gracie Academy. As a parent of a 6 year old, I encourage this type of training because it is used as a last resort – and to show kids to be respectful. It is not fair that a bully gets to manipulate the school system where there is “No Tolerance for Violence”, and a child gets bullied around because of being afraid of not getting in to trouble. A bully should not be allowed to just intimidate your child and let them affect your child’s education, and self confidence. I stand for piece, but when bullies cross the line, they should be told when enough is enough. We all know how much bully affects kid’s lives, and they should think twice of picking on kids just because they want a good laugh or because they want to show that they are more powerful. Be polite, respectful, and courteous toward others, but do not assume that a person should not defend themselves.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  11. Anthony

    If only this was available when I was in grade school. With always being below average height, I was an easy target for bullies growing up. My daughter will soon be attending this course for the obvious reasons. -Anthony

    October 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  12. Mike B

    Good Stuff!

    October 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  13. Mike

    Peyton...I'm a Baptist and there are no talks of supporting bulley's at our church. And by the way, I have been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over three years.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  14. Andy - UK

    As a full time martial arts instructor and a father, i have never seem a system in all my years of teching children, that allows them to learn all the important aspects of being a "human" for example disciplnie, respect, good manners, confidence, pride, loyalty.... i could go on an on.. but these classes give the child all these things, wihtout even having to try.... becasue that happen all on there own. this system is so effective that i have been teaching my kids classes this for a long time and the way they have picked up these easy to learn and fun techniques is amazing. and they work too... i have already had a number of reports from parent that bullying of thier child has stopped "without conflict" due to the 3 stages of resisiting the bully and the extra confidence the child has shown...

    keep up the good work, and for those of you that have seen this clip but not yet tried it out.... go check it out... you hacve nothing to lose... you owe this much at least to your prized asset..... your children...

    Andy – United Kingdom

    October 9, 2010 at 6:35 am |
  15. roger

    greatest system for bullyproofing ever designed

    October 9, 2010 at 3:17 am |
  16. Abel Gaitan

    I always tell my kids that protecting them selfs is top priority, and the school's policy is second

    October 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  17. greg

    i'm a GJJ student and martial arts for life (aikido ,TKD) family has some martial arts background (karate ,shorinji kempo, judo ). I have a daughter and i have plan to teach her GJJ somedays . I live in Indonesia..and yess..bullying also occur in here. It happened to me when i was a kid.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  18. Gary Kiehne

    Sounds like an excellent program, well geared to the kid's situation. As a psychologist and with my own limited martial arts background, I endorse graduated response to threats.

    October 8, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  19. Paul MacInnis

    Bullyproof is great. I am Bullyproofing my kids and I see the confidence that is growing in them every day. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is not violence. After watching this video I have to ask what kind of school is telling children that they sould not defend themselves. What kind of message is that sending... not a good one... for sure.

    Everyone has the right to be here and alive and the absolute right to defend themselves. Bullyproof gives the kids, and their parents, and everyone else the tools to stand up for their right to be here. If your school board says that your children do not have the right to defend themselves you as parents should become very involved in that board, because they are not looking out for your children. they are just trying to avoid the problem and hope it goes away.

    The problem never just goes away. You have to learn the way to solve the problem. Gracie Bullyproof gives you those tools.

    Take the Gracie challenge and check it out. It is worth it.

    October 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  20. Stacia

    We're seeing the direct consequences in our own school system about just how much the zero tolerance policy is failing our children. They're terrified to speak up or defend themselves.

    I wish I lived in CA so I could train with the Gracies. I'll be training on my own and using the bullyproof system with my son and students. Thank you for providing such a wonderful program.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  21. Scott MacDonald

    I have bought the dvd collection and I am having great fun working through them with my 2 kids.

    October 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  22. Dennis

    I believe people are treating the victims and not paying any attention to what is a bully and how do we help them channel that need to control to something more positive. There is no cure, but we can stear them in a more productive way. Most of them have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Dissorder that they inhereted from one of their parents. Until we start talking about that; we will all just be whinning victims.

    October 8, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  23. Don

    This is a great program. The Gracie brothers are fantastic instructors.
    I also teach the radKids safety program, and began to incorporate the Gracie Bullyproof system. The kids love it, and In the short period I've been using it, I've gotten reports from parents that their children have been able to stop bullying .

    October 8, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  24. Moises Hinojosa

    I've been using the Bully Proof program with my 7 and 10 year olds. They absolutely Love It. They get upset if we skip a day without playing Jiu Jitsu. Because that's how much fun the Gracie Brothers have made it. It is Play tTme. But it is also teaching them skills that can save them from getting hurt or even killed. I paid 119.00 for my set. Now that I've tried it, I would gladly pay 3 times that amount. It is well worth it!

    October 8, 2010 at 1:40 am |
  25. jose castro

    nice bullyproof program

    October 8, 2010 at 1:16 am |
  26. C.J. Medina

    For thoughs of you who live in Arizona we have just opened a new gracie academy in Scottsdale. We offer the gracie combatives course and soon the master cycle. Check us out at or visit and go to the certified training centers portion. Learn to defend yourself against a larger stronger and more athletic attacker now.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  27. Leon Nubla

    The Bullyproof program the Gracie Academy offers is outstanding, two of my children 11 and 4 absolutely love watching the instructionals, the format is made fun for the kids and keeps them super interested. The physical techniques are definitely effective and are geared towards a non-violent approach. Being in law enforcement, a martial artist and especially a father I highly recommend the program.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
  28. John P

    I have studied jujitsu, a Japanese style, for 12 years. I like what Rener Gracie is teaching in the video. It looks like good instruction for kids. I think that if more kids learned judo or jujitsu or some other martial art, if they learned how to take care of themselves when confronted physically, that bullying would be much less of a problem.

    There are many jujitsu techniques that can be effectively used to constrain or hold someone without lasting injury. It can be applied gently or more forcefully depending on the situation. Going to the dojo and becoming comfortable with physical contact and practicing self-defense does build confidence.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  29. Rob walter

    I have home version of bulletproof I do with my 3 sons and daughter every week. It is a great program. It teaches self confidence and the Gracie games section is so much fun for all of us. I was heavily bullied as a child because of my shyness and being skinny/ frail. I do not want my kids to go through this as with text, email and Facebook bullying has reached a new high. I want my kids to have confidence and options when put in these situations.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  30. erik

    It seems that bullying is the primary cause behind school shootings and even workplace shootings, so the bullying doesn't seem to stop even at adulthood. It seems to me that this is the root of many of the societal ills we suffer in America these days, so addressing this cultural sickness earlier is the best method to perhaps weed it out of our society entirely in a single generation. People still teach their children bullying foundations–racism, homophobia, and class-discrimination–and perhaps if the bullies became more confident in other areas, then the need to feel better about themselves by kicking someone weaker would be nullified. It starts at home, but if more kids stood up to them, it would eventually become in the bully's best interest to leave them alone and they would find better ways to build their own confidence.

    October 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  31. Ian H Forsyth

    I have been working on the Bullyproof course for about 2 months now & my 2 kids love it.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  32. Sean

    I am so very glad that the Gracies have their vision of Bullyproofing
    kids around the world and that they are taking all that their family
    has done and stood for and using it for those that need it most.
    My son takes GJJ and I have been able to see in so many ways
    that it has changed not only my sons life, but my families.
    I am sad to hear all that keeps happening in this world with
    all of the differant kinds of bullying and I am glad to see
    CNN found the Gracies and let them speak on this.
    I am a firm believer in the BULLYPROOF program and
    just want to say that if you have kids, get them Bullyproofed. 🙂
    If you are not near a studio or cannot afford GJJ, purchase
    the DVD series and let the Gracies help your kids as they have

    October 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  33. Todd


    Gracoe Jui Jitsu instructors typicallly work with adults and can be found in almost every state.
    Another recommendation would be to visit a Krav Maga facility.
    Krav Maga is an effective method of self-defense taught to the Isreali Military.
    Avoidance is great but be prepared to defend yourself.


    October 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  34. Robert

    The Gracies are amazing insturctors and their programs are outstanding. Please remember that zero tolerance polices may deter bullying on the school grounds, but does nothing for our children before school, after school and on weekends

    October 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  35. brandon

    great job!!! and im with Rener he said that everyone gets in trouble for sticking up for your self in a fight, victim and all and thats not right. I think this is great, what they teach. Maybe on day the level of bullying in schools with deplete enough so that they make friends and not torment each other and the chid doesnt start failing or goes home depressed beacuse school isnt enjoyable. School is all about the people around you that make it fun or atleast tolerable. ROCK ON GUYS!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  36. Nancy

    This is amazing! I especially loved when he said they teach kids how to "fight fire with water". The program is about instilling confidence so kids can look bullies in the eyes and talk vs. fight. Knowing they can gracefully defend themselves, if need be, gives them the confidence so they don't have to fight in the first place. And hey – any program that gets kids to say please and thank you has got my vote! Thanks CNN for highlighting this fantastic program.

    October 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  37. Edwin Nunez

    Another outstanding program in the Gracie curriculum. Confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way, regardless of the age. Looking forward to sharing this program and Gracie Jiu Jitsu with my kids.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  38. Cachorrinho

    I've been almost my whole school time and also now in adult life now. It made me suffer from Social Phobia. Training Jiu-Jitsu changed everything for me! I experience kinda a spontaneous recovery! Keep it real!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Iain Crawford

    This is something that affects children (and adults) everywhere. A solid curriculum has never really been around (apart from parental advice which sometimes falls on deaf ears). This is just simply great, I will certainly be putting my kids on it.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  40. Ernest Brennecke

    I received the BullyProof Program 2 weeks ago. I ravaged the information and within 2 days of receiving it, I held my first seminar for ages 5-55 in my martial arts school. The Gracies have successfully taken the Adult Combatives Course and simplified it in a way that makes sense for kids as well as adults.

    The information is extremely well organized, effective, and fun to teach and learn. I will be scheduling a monthly seminar as we work our way through the Jr. Combatives Course. I have no intention of belting the students, but I will definitely involve the parents on the floor with the children.

    Finally, I am most impressed with the Gracie Brothers as they not only demonstrate what to teach, but how to teach it. There relationship with the students and with each other is exemplary and teaches the life skills of cooperation, teamwork, respect, confidence, and a strong work ethic.....couldn't ask for more.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
  41. Mick Jolly

    Well done. These guys are fantastic teachers.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  42. Priscilla

    The Gracies have an excellent system of self-defense, which has lower risks of causing injury to the opponent than other systems. It is perfect for kids.
    I'm an adult and their system has helped me too.
    Grown ups can learn from home at

    October 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  43. Dave

    GJJ is great. My boys (4 and 5) are eager for each new session. The father/sons bonding we get while 'playing' Gracie games makes the program worthwhile.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  44. Colin

    Growing up as a frail child made me the target of many bullies in elementary school. I was constantly fearful and would often sneak out of class and run home before the bell was rung. Fortunately for me I was introduced to judo and later JKA karate. After working out just a few months, I had the nerve to standup to one of the bigger guys who was bullying me. Unfortunately (for him), my new found confidence didn’t dissuade him, but in the tussle that ensued, I managed to get his arm in an arm bar (few of my school mates knew what I was doing), but when he screamed and started to cry, they knew he was in pain. Needless to say, I was never bullied after that. I think it is fear of being hurt that causes many kids to allow themselves to be bullied, and once this starts, it quickly becomes a trend that is hard to break, but they should know also, that the bully is just as fearful, and in most cases, if the bully has any inkling that you are not an easy mark he or she will move on.

    October 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  45. Lou

    Unfortunately what Janelle said is true, if you use force to defend yourself you will most likely be charged with assault, and if you are trained in combat the penalties are worse for you. I live in NY and the law states that you cannot strike anyone unless you are defending yourself. Now you can't use force until you are struck first and you cannot use force if you provoke the other party to assault you either.

    I am a MMA instuctor and a high school teacher, so I have to inform my students so that they do not fall on the wrong side of the law. As a teacher I will tell you that unless parents are held accountable for the actions of their children (which will never happen) bullying will never stop, which will eventually lead to escalations of violence by those who are bullied.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  46. Blaise

    CONFIDENCE Is what its all about! A bully is a bully because they are confident they can intimidate, posture up, and break down a weaker opponent. The best defense is to not allow yourself to be intimidated, postured up or broken down with your own CONFIDENCE! GJJ What a great way to do that!!

    October 7, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  47. Jacob Whitfield

    As a jiu-jitsu instructor and father of two, I could not recommend the bullyproof program more. Rener and ryron are phenomenal teachers and this program can easily be applied by anyone. To those that worry about teaching children how to fight, this program is NOT teaching children how to fight. It teaches them to stand up for and believe in themselves. Only when necessary will the child use these techniques to defend himself. My children have been on the mat since they were three days old and I know they will have a higher quality life because of it.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  48. Greg Soares

    I have been training Gracie Barra jiujitsu for 6 years, and nothing can compare. Jiujitsu gave me the confidence to stay out of fights, it also provides the knowledge and ability to handle my self if one were to be un avoidable. I had been in many fights beforei started the art, and not once since I began. It really has changed my life and im glad it is getting some exposure to change others.

    I train at a school in Clearwater FL

    October 7, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  49. Bobbyw

    Very interesting story, would like to see more?

    October 7, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  50. Jim

    Awesome video. I had a daughter that was bullied. We talked to teachers and talked to the school administration and it persisted. We took her to Tae Kwon Do, and while it seemed to help her self-confidence, she then became afraid of hurting someone if they were bullying her. I wish we had this Gracie idea for her so she could safely take care of the bully and hold them gently until help could arrive. You can apply as little or as much pressure as you need to control a bully. What a great idea ,versus kicking the bully in the head or punching them in the chest – real damage can occur then and it becomes your fault and burden to bear !!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  51. Shane Harrelson

    Great interview and video! I'm a Gracie student in Georgia and feel that Gracie Jiu Jitsu has greatly enhanced my lifestyle in many ways. There are great physical & mental benefits that one can achieve by practicing this great sport. Thanks CNN for including the Gracie's in your interviews on bullying.

    October 7, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  52. Jeannette Andrea Jackson

    Yes..this is a positive approach.. I wish I had of known about the Martial Arts Path when I was a child as being bullied was and is a soul destroying and emotionally damaging experience..but the Martial Arts Paths found me later in life and I haven't looked back since it did.. How lucky are those children having the Gracies as their role models and mentors..they are in very good hands and are being taught the best life skills and attitudes that's for sure..Well done..:-)

    October 7, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  53. Tuna

    BJJ is a great way to learn self defense, get exercise & gain discipline

    October 7, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  54. Janelle

    I have appreciated your coverage of bullying. I was bullied all of my school life b/c of being blind and an ultra nerd. As an attorney, I've had juvenile clients who were mercilessly bullied and treated just as mercilessly by the legal system when they physically lashed out. I think the needs of disabled kids who are bullied have not gotten a lot of coverage. Also, I'm concerned about these self-defense classes. One of my young clients who studied Karate put his bully on the floor, then was charged with assault. I have a long story, both personally and professionally and a few insights, having been on the wrong side of bullies and having seen my clients go through it. Also, as the Prince case illustrates, girls bully tactics are so different than boys and way more sophisticated. All the tae kwando in the world couldn't have helped Phoebe. Anyway, where could I tell my experiences in such a way as to be constructive and helpful to those being bullied, those who are trying to combat bullying and even bullies themselves.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:30 am |
  55. Lizzy

    I'm 22 years old and GJJ is one of the best things ever hapend to me!!!!.
    Its great that you can learn JJ from your house!!!
    And bullyproof program' class is my lil sister favorite part of her day.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  56. brian

    Grace Jiu Jitsu is the single most effective martial art in the world, as was displayed in the vale tudo and the initial UFC. I am a proud practitioner and advocate of Grace Jiu Jitsu and Gracie Bulleyproof is a wonderful program, not to mention how much less it costs as opposed to enrolling your children in any other martial art for a period of time long enough to learn as much as they will in the Gracie Bulleyproof program (video series).

    Peyton, aren't you discriminating against Baptists in the same way you are accusing them of discrimination? I am a Baptist and I treat people of other faiths, races, nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations with the same respect as I do other Baptists. I have personal friends who are of all sexual orientations, black, white, Hispanic, Muslim, Jewish, wiccan, and atheist! If I disagree with a persons lifestyle I do not judge them because I myself am not without sin, their sin is simply different, no worse. How hypocritical, ignorant, and judgmental of you to judge a whole faith by a small group, especially Dr. Falwell whom I strongly disagree with you on! If you disagree with our moral standards then say so, don't make false accusations of hate and discrimination. Every faith will (more than likely) stand firm and support their moral standards and beliefs in the same way you clearly support yours. What faith does not profess that their way is the only way to God (or whatever they choose to call Him) with the exception of "all paths lead to God" which is not a faith, but a belief in God with the absence of faith. HOW DARE YOU!

    October 7, 2010 at 6:48 am |
  57. Shaun

    My son Loves his Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He has so much more self confidence.
    Thanks Gracies.

    October 7, 2010 at 6:36 am |
  58. Jack Flanagan

    My sons take Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from a different family line then Professor Rener. However, the confidence and self-worth learned are the same. This is a good program and all kids should learn that standing up for yourself, after exhausting all other means (talking, teachers, adult intervention) is not only correct but doable. My youngest actually told me one day that someone was bothering him even after a teacher was told. After asking what happened next he shocked me. He said, "Yeah, I asked him to stop calling me names. Then I thought, I can do something to him, but I decided not to and walked away. He laughed at me but I knew that I was right for going to the other side of the playground."
    Confidence to walk away and not be ashamed...coming from a third grader...


    October 7, 2010 at 5:18 am |
  59. Jason

    Instilling self-confidence is very important. Learning Gracie Jiujitsu is a great way.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:56 am |
  60. John Boam

    This is not about teaching kids to fight back; its about teaching them how not to be scared. Giving them a safe toolbox to deal with the problems they will encounter at school.

    Just by teaching the kids what to say to a bully makes this the top quality anti-bullying program. But they ALSO explain to them what will get your kid in trouble at school when they respond to a bully, and how to talk to a teacher to explain what is happening.

    I got bullied at school and responded with violence and eventually got expelled. I will buy this for my son so that he will know what to do, how to talk about it and so he can enjoy school in the way I never got to!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:57 am |
  61. Sven Festerling

    Respekt for your program!
    To learn and teach children how to be respektful with confidence, is a great thing.

    Sven Festerling from Coevorden, the Netherlands.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:54 am |
  62. Charles Olson

    I just wanted to say thank you for doing this piece martial arts and bullying. Martial arts is really more then just kicking and punching and beating on other people. It really does help build self confidence and has so many lesions to teach. It also doesn’t matter which Martial Art your viewer’s kids are in, how ever it does matter with which Sensei you the parent choose for your kids to learn from. Just like when parents choose anything else for their kids “coaches, teaches, etc”, Martial Art dojo’s have their good and bad instructors as well.

    Please do research on the different dojo’s.
    Please research the different instructors in your area.
    Ask if you can sit in on one of your kids classes to watch the instructor.
    Ask your kids if they had fun and what they learned.

    I have grown up with Martial arts been in some sort of a Martial since I was 5 and I have seen the quiet ones learn a martial art and become the bullier after they have been bullied.

    Please note there is a lot more out there then just Jujitsu, Tae Kwan Do and Kung Fu.



    October 7, 2010 at 2:54 am |
  63. Derric

    This jiu-jitsu program is great! Self defence, confidence and respect!

    October 7, 2010 at 2:13 am |
  64. Brady

    I can't wait to share this with my kids! At their ages the confidence alone will be enough to keep them from being bullied. Thanks guys.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:21 am |
  65. Bell

    Informative advice that can be carried into adulthood! Make eye contact, be confident, have manners and be humble. My hope is that more kids have access to the bullyproof program. Rather then schools having a zero tolerance against violence (which clearly doesn't work) it would be a greater benefit to incorporate the bullyproof program into the schools.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:05 am |
  66. Marcus Ambrester

    As a psychotherapist who specializes in working with women who are frustrated with where thier life is headed - women who are scared there is something wrong with them, and who are overwhelmed because nothing is helpine thier problems, I couldn't recommend the Gracie program more for young women. Girls, pre-teens, and teenage young women will be well served thier entire lives by learning to feel and assert thier own presence in any situation. At we deal with the aftermath of women never having been taught thier own value and never being given the skills to live with confidence.

    October 7, 2010 at 1:00 am |
  67. karlinhos

    The Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu programs are not only beneficial at creating confidence in kids, but adults as well. They have special programs for women, law enforcement, special forces, etc., etc. Their art has changed my life.

    I first started training in 1994, under the tutelage of Rener's (the guy in the video) uncle, Royce Gracie and Rener's father Rorion Gracie. I have since passed on the basics of the art to my kids and wife.

    R.I.P Helio Gracie (the primary developer of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu)

    October 7, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  68. Garrett

    This is a very good course for kids up to 18 years old to take, and even adults. I've done GJJ for over a year now and I love it. It's the best thing for you to do for self-confidence, self-defense and how to stand-up to bullies.

    @Peyton, I understand where you're coming from, but it's not really a good idea to give bullies a taste of their own medicine/fighting fire with fire. That makes you no better than them. Instead, Bullyproof teaches kids to use true confidence as the weapon against bullies–fighting fire with water. Also, you cannot attack religions based on their beliefs. That's not only unconstitutional, but attacking the religion makes you logically wrong as well. Just because one or two people/churches teach to show hatred, that doesn't mean that every single authoritative from that group will agree. You're assuming too much about the group based on an inefficient sample.

    October 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  69. Bob

    Zero tolerance does not work. Make sure your kids can defend themselves. I will not have a problem if either my son or daughter defends themselves against bullies. Daddy has been training in Gracie Jiu Jitsu for 3 1/2 years and they will be taught how to defend themselves.

    October 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
  70. Trent

    We have both our kids in this program, and it is fantastic

    October 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  71. adam

    As a practitioner of shootfighting,i believe that what the gracie family is doing is bringing a sense of security to a childs mind. Gracie jiu jitsu teaches control of ones opponent but more than that it teaches control of ones emotions by giving such a child confidence and a sense of security. so I say keep the gracie ways and everything you want shall be rewarded

    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  72. Mark

    This is a great program. We have the Gracie Bullyproof system at home and work with our 3 children (Ages 8, 5, 3) on it regularly as well as our whole family takes Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I have seen wonderful results in the confidence of our children.

    October 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  73. Jason

    Great spotlight on a great program. Rener & Ryron are excellent role models. I find it appalling that a school would have a zero-tolerance policy in regards to defending yourself! How does this in anyway reflect reality?

    October 6, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  74. Lori

    The Gracie people and programs are outstanding. They do a great job of teaching self-confidence and respect. I highly recommend them and am so glad to see information about their bullyproof program made available to the public. Taking the power away from bullies in a respectful way is a win-win. Recent tragedies are evidence that forcing those bullied to remain victims is not the answer. I hope schools will recognize the benefit of the Gracie Bullyproof program to promote respectful behavior by all.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  75. James

    More bullying occurs because the school districts have disallowed kids protecting themselves.

    This isn't fighting. It's common sense (which is lacking in society). If school districts are telling kids to just get beaten up and if you fight back well you're as guilty as the bully?

    That's insane. But it's indicative of a broken overly corrupt and inept school system..

    At least in CA which is the only state that employs anti self defense laws for its students.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  76. Frank McRock

    Learning Gracie Jiu Jitsu will change a kid's life, instilling self-confidence and developing his/her character. Self
    -confidence is the magic weapon against bullies, and no other program comes even close to the Gracie Bullyproof Program. GJJ will do the same for any adult.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  77. Angela Volk

    As a veteran teacher and a parent of two children, I recognize and appreciate the need for an effective bully proof program. When my 9 year old son, who has trained with Matt Becker in La Jolla for several years, switched to the Gracie Bully proof Program I was thrilled. Not only did his confidence level increase, his ability to verbally diffuse situations with bullies increased dramatically and quickly. I have seen the need for these critical bully proofing skills both in the schools and in the community.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  78. logan layton

    MMA and heavier bullet proof is amazing at helping kids deal with problems the rational way. It teaches self control .. kids learn protection and responsibilities.... I promote this at my own gym and my wrestlers..controlling emotions saves lives

    October 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  79. Michael Deuber

    I have been teaching martial arts for over 20 yrs and this Gracie Bully Proof program is the best that I have ever seen. It teaches non-combat techniques to defend them selves. We had a kid that used some of the principles from these tapes on a baseball field. The kid was picking on our student and the situation seemed like it was getting out of hand. Our student simply took him down and got into a top position and held him with control. Then told him if he would stop that he would let him up. The kid agreed and the whole thing was over. The kid now has respect for him and they are good friends. Our student showed assertiveness, self control, and confidence. The confidence comes from the drills in the bully proof drills. I'd reccomend this to any child that needs self defense.
    Excellent job Gracies! Top kudos!

    October 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  80. Alfredo GT

    we use GJJ with my kids and we love it, is the best against bully's.

    October 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  81. Roxy

    This program teaches lifelong skills that provide children with the tools needed to avoid a fight and to defend themselves and others. The "games" played within the program are fun and a great way to bond with your child. I hope that school districts across the nation use this approach and become proactive on is issue.

    October 6, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  82. Sheryl

    Everything about this program is positive. My husband is a blue belt under the Gracie's now and is teaching our daughter the bully proof class at home. It is so important to discuss bullying from both perspectives with your child. That they understand what bullying is and what it does. No parent wants to see their child be bullied and just as importantly they don't want their child to be a bully, Confidence is the key to combat both and the Gracie's understand that and have created a wonderful medium for children and adults for that matter to learn confidence as a life style.

    October 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  83. Brandon C

    This is a great program. I wish they had this when I went to school.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  84. Benny Turnbull

    Excellent clip awesome work Gracie Academy

    October 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  85. Kim Johnson

    Sharon, you should enroll in the women empowerment class that the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy has periodically. A couple Saturdays will change your life for the better.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  86. Phil

    Amazing story! The Gracies are doing incredible things.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  87. Eric

    Hi SHARON,

    I can tell you first hand that the Gracie Combatives works and will give you the confidence that you need when in the moment of frozen. When you freeze out of scare-dome, the Gracie Combatives kicks in out of instinct even when you haven't practice in a while. They have a great move for women called Strait Arm Bar from the Guard, every women should know that move when a female is being strangled.

    I've traveled from Houston to Los Angeles for a month to learn from them. I attended twice a day, several times completing over 70 classes, NO FEAR !!!

    Take this time for you and your life, make the change and find a center near you, the work is Gracie Academy, Gracie University (Garage) or any Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu around your area. The great thing about Gracie Combatives is there system. They only teach you what you really should know from all areas, and counter advance moves also.

    Good luck and best wishes

    October 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm |
  88. Roberto Moreno

    In light of the recent events in the news (homosexuals being targeted and bullied) the Gracies and their second-to-none system are owed their due. Many thanks to CNN for this timely piece.
    Sharon, I recommend looking into Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I have actually had private lessons with the Gracies and their techniques have saved my life many times. Long live Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  89. Alan G

    Bullyproof is fantastic! The Gracie's teaching method is fun and builds confidence in both the teacher and student. This is simple but effective stuff and you can apply the principles to all aspects of life. When else can kids "beat up" daddy?

    October 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  90. Jody

    Self confidence is the key. Any program that helps instill that in children is a great idea. Once children get the point where bullies are much ado about nothing then the bullies will go away.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  91. Tyler Johnson

    Chris Lyon:

    The website is right here:

    It's awesome! I'm definitely going to "play" it with my son.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  92. Shazad

    October 6, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  93. Ryan

    October 6, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  94. peyton

    A bully's weapon is embarassment. Turn the tables on them. Schools could have an assembly once a month and stand the bully's up to be gawked at by the rest of the students. Then call them by their name and their religion – Mary Ann the Baptist, was caught bullying John Doe.... Yes, call out their religions, just like you call out Muslims.

    Religious organizations, such as the Baptist, encourage and protect bullies who attack gays, minorities and anyone who is not them. People like the late Jerry Falwell and the megalmaniac Pat Robinson made their millions by promoting hate.

    October 6, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  95. Ronnie

    Sharon, sign up for Gracie Jiu Jitsu. It's for adults also. Chris,

    I've trained for a little over a year now. I am 23 at the moment and I love GJJ!

    October 6, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  96. Sara Chandler

    The Website is You can even teach your kids from home.

    October 6, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  97. Chris Lyon

    This is great! What's the website of the bullyproof program so I can learn more about it?

    October 6, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  98. SHARON

    I would like to know how you can stop adults from bullying adults. I have had persistent stalker for over 25 years. Have move, relocated, changed name etc. I have been advised not to confront because of the mental instability of the staker. But no one tells the person that is being bullied how you deal with adults who bully adults.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:53 am |