CEDAR PARK, Texas -- A Cedar Park class is giving kids the tools and confidence they need to protect themselves against bullies.
"What do you have to do if somebody calls you ugly?" Fabio Villela asked the class of children.
The kids laughed, but it’s a serious matter. About 1 out of 3 students in the U.S. is bullied in school. The most common forms of bullying are verbal or social, but it can get physical.
Villela is a world champion in Jiu-Jitsu, now a professor in Cedar Park. Every two months he opens his doors free of charge to teach the class. Villela teaches children the most important rule, ignoring the bully, but that doesn’t always work. Villela showed the students how to fall without hurting themselves.
After teaching them those basics, he demonstrated how to respond if hit or pushed, a clap then hugging the bully’s knees as you take them down. Parents agree the class not only gives their children the tools to defend themselves, but the confidence that often deters bullies.
"There was a kid being bullied and my son stepped in and stood up for him and this kid tried to bully my son and my son took him down and pinned him on the ground,” said Mike Alton.
Not every child will have to fight a bully, but the children have peace of mind, knowing they can protect themselves.