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Gracie Barra Academy Offers Free Anti-Bullying Program for Youths

A free four-week anti-bullying class will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 6 at the Gracie Barra Santa Barbara Academy, 1014 State St. The Gracie Barra Anti-Bullying Community Program is available to youths ages 6 to 13.

The free program, open to the public, covers techniques and methods to prevent and respond to bullying, and provides an introduction to basic self-defense aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The final meeting of the anti-bullying series will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27. A closing ceremony will be held on the same day, and participants who attended all four class sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

A parent or guardian must accompany each participant and sign a weaver prior to the first session.

The anti-bullying curriculum will begin with a discussion of the concerns that each participant has in regards to bullying. The program clearly covers what bullying really is, and how it affects people — the bully, those who are bullied and others. We stress appropriate responses to bullies, compassion, and how to avoid conflicts and harmful physical confrontations.

We spend time talking about things like how to walk away from a bully, how to talk a bully out of bullying, telling adults, parents and teachers when bullying occurs, who stressed that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu-based physical anti-bullying techniques are taught to be used only when necessary.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques that we teach provide a foundation for effective self-defense and good conditioning. These are keys to self- esteem and self-confidence. We hope to help young people develop the mental and physical tools they need to stay in top shape, along with teaching effective ways to evade, neutralize and overcome an attacker if necessary.

For more information about the classes, call 805.845.2272 or visit the academy at 1014 State St.

Known as the “gentle” martial art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger opponent by using leverage and proper technique. The Gracie family has been practicing, teaching and competing in martial arts worldwide since early in the 20th century. Established in Rio de Janeiro in 1976, Gracie Barra is now a worldwide network with more than 200 schools. The Santa Barbara academy, which opened in 2009 under the direction of professor Rodrigo Clark, offers a full Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program for adults and young people — beginner through black belt.

For more information, click here or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Rodrigo Clark is a professor for the Gracie Barra Santa Barbara Academy.


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