Regardless of whether it is mental, physical or emotional, bullying has both short- and long-term effects on children, including depression, low self-confidence and an unwillingness to attend and participate in school. While many Tampa Bay area schools are becoming acutely aware of bullying and taking significant steps to curb it, it is beneficial for children and teens – especially those most at risk of being bullied – to have a degree of training on how to negotiate through a stressful and potentially violent bullying scenario. Likewise, it is important for those that observe bullying behavior to know when and how to step-up, step-in and help out.
To help address this, two of the instructors at Florida Aikido Center, created a seminar curriculum designed to help educate students about bullying and appropriate techniques for dealing with it in real-life circumstances. The curriculum for these anti-bullying classes will include exercises in self-confidence building self-assertion, as well as “talk it out” training and techniques for how to safely fall if pushed, how to escape a bullying scenario, how to respond to seeing others bullied, and how to defend oneself in a fight. Additionally, each seminar will include role-playing scenarios where students will be made to decide how best to negotiate the situation.
According to Gina Boccolucci, Florida Aikido Center owner and the seminar’s co-instructor, “I think it’s important for parents to know this is not a martial arts program. As part of the class, we’re going to get physical and work on some really basic self-defense techniques, but we’re also going to focus on building confidence and teaching verbal negotiation skills – things that can really help, especially in the long run.”
Bryce Smith, Kobudo instructor at Florida Aikido Center and the seminar’s other instructor, said this of the curriculum, “I was bullied for years as a child, and fighting never once helped…even if I ‘won.’ I eventually learned that common sense and learning to communicate myself were far more effective weapons than my fists…a lesson that I carry with me even today. So, when Gina asked me to help her with this seminar, I jumped at the chance to help kids today benefit from my experiences and lessons I learned the hard way.”
While each individual seminar session is self-contained and can be taken as such, the entire seminar series spans six-months (one class per month) with each class focusing on a different topic or type of bullying scenario. The anti-bullying seminar series schedule is as follows:
Oct 08, 2011; Nov 05, 2011; Dec 03, 2011; Jan 14, 2012; Feb 11, 2012; Mar 17, 2012
For a more in-depth rundown of topics and scheduling, please visit http://www.flaikidocenter.com/
# # #
About Florida Aikido Center
Open since 2008, the Florida Aikido Center offers an open, encouraging and respectful training environment to anybody ready and willing to learn. While the Florida Aikido Center is a “traditional”