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New Gracie Barra Round Rock facility offers anti-bullying class

Jiu-jitsu martial arts teaches kids self defense without violence.

AUSTIN, Texas — Saturday's gloomy and rainy forecast didn't affect the active jiu-jitsu going on inside the new Gracie Barra Round Rock. But it wasn't just any practice.

"Today we're doing our anti-bully class," announced coach Ryan Jones.

It's an anti-bullying class just for kids.

RELATED: Dad who slapped boy in Deer Park says he was defending his daughter who'd been bullied

Coach Jones, with the help of another coach, demonstrated the three rules when it comes to overcoming bullies with no violence.

Step one, Jones said you must ignore them.

"I'm walking home from school, 'Hey, stinky, ugly.' I just keep walking. He may not care anymore," he said.

If that doesn't work, he said to move on to step two.

"Step two, I want to stand up for myself. 'Hey, I don't know you. Stop.' And I go away," he said.

But if the bully doesn't go away and actually lays hands on you, it's time for step three.

RELATED: Man sues son's alleged bullies and parents, first known lawsuit filed under David's law

"When we defend ourselves, I'm not throwing a punch; I'm not throwing a kick. That makes you a bully too, but we can still defend ourselves. It's going to start with a simple distraction and a simple take-down," said Jones.

Owner Fabio Villela said teaching this course is important because of all the distractions in children's lives.

"They are so vulnerable with social media, with technology, electronics, and they hide themselves behind that. Many times we as parents, we don't realize, we don't figure out what's going on until it's late," said Villela.

Ten-year-old Carter Cool has taken jiu-jitsu for eight-and-a-half years. He used it to stop a bully picking on a friend.

RELATED: Child suicides can be linked to bullying, but it's rarely the sole cause, mental health professional

"I used jiu-jitsu when they were pushing him around and calling him names. I told them to stop and he didn't listen, so I had to do the double leg, and after that he noticed we weren't joking," said Carter.

It's about defending yourself without harming others.


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