Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Training to overcome bullying

Unfortunately bullying has become pervasive in society. And as an added obstacle, it has evolved from simple threats to hand over your lunch money to using text messages and Facebook to engage in "cyberbullying", which makes bullying in general much more difficult to defeat.

But Top Flight MMA in Aberdeen is doing its part to help educate young people to overcome bullying. The gym has sent out several e-newsletters recently promoting its "Bully Buster Seminar", which they say will help kids "deal with and conquer peer pressure and bullies!"

But they're also not teaching kids how to put a bully in a rear-naked choke or how to knock them out with a quick punch to the jaw. Top Flight goes out of its way to emphasize in the e-newsletter that the program teaches kids to "effectively avoid trouble, diffuse a situation without fighting, and how to protect themselves when faced with eminent [sic] danger."

That last part sounds familiar, since when I talked to Master Mike Moses from Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, he talked about a similar program he runs where kids learn to diffuse situations. While I am a firm believer in being justified in defending one's self when faced with a physical threat, I also agree with always trying to resolve the situation peacefully first. Mixed martial arts is all about discipline and even if kids aren't learning actual MMA, they should still be learning the same values. Top Flight also makes it fun by telling kids they will teach them a "Jedi Mind Trick", though I feel like most young people know little about Star Wars, much to the chagrin of some.

But if the kids want to be the next Randy Couture or Brock Lesnar when they're older, Top Flight can accommodate that too.

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