Bully defense program underway in Clanton

Published 2:34 pm Thursday, July 2, 2015

Organizers of a 12-week bully defense program held in Clanton are hoping to teach kids of all ages to live their lives.

Impact Martial Arts is currently hosting the program held each Monday beginning at 5:45 p.m. at Cornerstone Fitness and Wellness to teach kids about different types of bullying and how to combat the problem.

Class instructor Sean Gilham said he found a need for a bully defense program after visiting local schools.

“Bullying seems to be a big issue, especially now with social media,” Gilham said. “It has become a little crazier. I want to teach everyone how to deal with different types of bullying.”

Gilham said the program will focus on two types of bullying including verbal and physical bullying, but will also cover cyber bullying and emotional bullying.

“This is not a sit-down type of class,” Gilham said. “It is more of a physical work out. We do a lot of bullying self-defense drills. We also sit down and talk about things, but we keep moving. My goal is for those who attend to build confidence by learning self-defense.”

Gilham said the class is geared toward children who are in elementary and middle school, but there is a parent taking the class.

“I think it is great for parents to come and listen and hear the drills so they can reinforce everything at home,” Gilham said.

The class is currently in its third week, but Gilham said registration is still open for anyone interested in attending.

The cost to attend is $100, and the sessions last about 45 minutes.

Gilham said bullying can vary in degree and age, with younger children often dealing with verbal bullying.

“I think it progresses as you get older,” Gilham said. “Hormones kick in, and the bullying gets more physical. Then people get on social media and start bullying.”

According to www.hyperbullydefense.com, the program Gilham uses for the classes, every seven minutes a child is bullied, and 85 percent of the time there is no intervention.

Other statistics the site provided were, each day 160,000 students miss school due to bullying, bullying is the leading factor in suicide among kids 11-16 and by age 24, 60percent of bullies have been charged with a crime.

For more information or to sign up for the program, call Gilham at (205) 266-0732.