Sunday, February 21, 2016

Anti-Bullying VS Bullying Prevention - The Important Difference Nobody is Talking About

Being targeted for bullying stinks.

For those of us who know the pain of the repeated teasing, taunting, exclusion and cruelty, it is something we cannot easily forget.  However, there is hope.  My organization has been successfully teaching men, women and children how to handle bullying for nearly 30 years in practical ways.  But this doesn't happen if you accept the myths, distortions and misguided approach of the current anti-bully movement.

The current media hyped anti-bullying approach is failing.  It fails students, teachers and worse, the vulnerable among us who need the most help.  Every major study continues to show the failed process and policies, yet they continue.  FACT: The anti-bullying approach fails.  Peace education with character and leadership development works again and again.

You have probably seen the school rallies, anti-bully posters in hallways and the witch hunt of finding, reporting and punishing all "bullies". Your children most likely have already been exposed to this ideology.

Why Does The Anti Bullying Movement Fail?
1. It's a circular blame game.  Students blame students, parents blame teachers, teachers blame parents, then eventually,  the administration.  This can and has led to nasty legal disputes and costly litigation.  The finger pointing is endless, despite the good intentions.

2. The very definition of bullying continually changes.  To date, there exists no standardized definition for bullying.  Every self proclaimed expert and presenter has his or her own definition.  However, bullying is not a clinical diagnosis, rather, it is a social label.   How can we teach children that name calling is wrong and yet label people (children) bullies?

Furthermore the definition has expanded to be so broad that it makes diagnosis problematic and an ever increasing host of victims.   (A common tactic for those who would profit from promoting such ideas.) This has led to such alarmist fear mongering as "bullying epidemic" and "bully-cide", none of which are scientific.

3. The anti-bully movement is a punitive process, not a peace process.  The very method seeks to vilify certain individuals, usually without any due investigation nor consideration.  It lacks wisdom, intelligence and is rooted in revenge, rather than education.  Revenge is a nasty business that harms on many levels.  Much evil has been done in this world in the name of rationalized revenge.

4. The anti-bully movement promotes victim culture.  Rather than offering specific steps on how to create peace, virtually every anti-bullying recommendation escalates a situation.  Not only does this create more and increasingly complex problems, it harms, rather than protects, those involved.  For even if they are spared from this one incident of bullying, they are left ill equipped for others in the future.  The only recourse they are given is to tell.  This is no solution - it is an escalating ignition point.  Additionally, if you create heroes out of victims,  you will get more of them.

5. The anti-bully movement promotes division with the very people who could facilitate positive change.  The anti-bullying movement does not build bridges, compassion, understanding and peace - instead it uses tactics that are punitive and usually augment the problems.  A movement motivated by anger and hate is not one we can perpetuate if we want peace and respectful protection for all.

6. The anti-bully movement takes away individuals dignity.  From the accused to the accuser, they are sucked into a vortex of overly sweeping policies and the individual is quickly forgotten as the self proclaimed crusaders helicopter into action.  The targeted child can often receive the unintended message that they are incapable of problem solving, protecting themselves or being resourceful. When a child is labeled a tattle tale, it can equate to a social death that they have to live with on a day to day basis.

7.  It is too easy to abuse.  Socially intelligent children are often the ones exhibiting aggressive behavior.  Once they pick up on these policies they learn that they can claim victim status, tell on another student and bully by proxy.  They simply get the adults to do their dirty work through manipulation of these labels and policies.

8.  The anti-bullying movement also demonizes bystanders and sweeps them into a guilty verdict without allowing for any other personal choices.  Now if a child see an incident and does nothing,  he or she is as guilty as the offending "bully".  This process turns children on one another, becoming like a Police state, where suspicion and accusation are the rule of law.  Hitler Youth anyone?

9.  The anti-bullying movement promotes alarmism and a culture of fear surrounding normal childhood aggression.  This in turn causes many to rush to judgment and limits our ability to resolve the real underlying problems and help the ones who need sound adult wisdom the most.

10.  One look at the bullying statistics and any critical thinker will be confused by such wildly inconsistent data and distortions in the name of science.  It is anything but science, especially when you read the manipulative surveys and tactics used to collect the information.

In sharp contrast... 

John Nottingham's BullyProof Vest Bullying prevention education is entirely the opposite of the so called anti-bullying approach.

It is pro-active rather than simply reactive, creating a culture of peace, responsibility, respect, resourcefulness, empowerment, and self esteem.

Bully Proof  training is careful about the language and assumptions it uses for understanding conflict, aggression and a full spectrum of behaviors. It therefore protects the dignity and reputation of all involved with a more patient, balanced and caring approach to children.

BullyProof training approaches children with a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset and labeling approach.  It equips children with skills and tools to contextualize aggression, bad behavior and offers functional solutions to effectively resolve it.  Children are taught that building bridges is more powerful than revenge and damning labels.

BullyProof training operates on a peace process that works to create a cooperative, respectful culture and safe space for students to learn, speak freely and respect others opinions and ideals (even to disagree).

BullyProof empowers children to be resourceful problem solvers and build self esteem and empowerment through peace education and training.

If you would like to learn more about our BullyProof Vest peace process, verbal judo, and self defense empowerment approach, contact us at

Bullying Statistics, Solutions, Best Practices
The Phoenix BullyProof Project
Bullying Prevention Initiative International
Arizona Bullying Prevention Project
Partners in Education
Break The Chain of Child Abuse Foundation
The Black Belt Society
USA Martial Arts Phoenix
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
The Arizona Bully Project – A Bully Proof Educational Initiative
4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone (602) 896-8721
Facebook Arizona Bully Education Project

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Anti-Bullying Speaker - No! Peace Education Speaker

Bullying Prevention Kick Off Assembly Speaker

Anti Bullying Speaker - No!  Peace Education Speaker
Bully-Proof / Victim-Proof Bullying Prevention Program has numerous positive benefits; one is the training the educators receive on how to be objective when they see bullying and what to do when students report bullying.

Finding a bully proof bullying prevention speaker who can engage students as well as educate them can be challenging.  Rather than lecturing them, John Nottingham involves them in an interactive experience that inspires, offers hope and gives children and teachers tools to make a difference.

Motivational school speaker John Nottingham has been educating students in bullying prevention assemblies for decades and has been engaged by many educational institutions and corporations that want practical tools for peace and character education.
His assemblies covers all the principles and concepts for BullyProofing kids and classrooms.
John's methods of entertainment, education and training keep kids hanging on his every word.  John's presentations emphasize proven methods to respond to bullying behavior (micro-aggression) and offer practical tools for handing situations peacefully.  We also offer ongoing training and consultation.
Training students how to report bullying behavior, rather than tattle, preserves the culture of the classroom, the dignity of the individuals and helps resolve the situation in a peaceful manner.  They become teachable moments that equip children with new skills and move everyone forward in constructive ways.  This bullying prevention peace training builds character and make it win-win for parents, teacher and students alike.
 Find out why so many parents and teachers recommend John Nottingham's BullyProof Vest and BullyProof-VictimProof program.
John Nottingham 4731 E. Greenway Rd Suite 9, Phoenix, AZ 85032 Tel. 602-896-8721

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Grandma's Advice on How To Handle Life's Painful Times

She Tells Her Grandma That She’s Just Been Cheated On So Grandma Tells Her To Do This

I read this story long ago and have used it in my lessons to inspire and encourage.  While I didn't write it, I hope that sharing it here will nourish your soul and encourage your heart.  - John Nottingham

This is a good lesson for all of us, no matter what stage of life you’re in. You’ll see what I mean.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her – her husband had cheated on her and she was devastated. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’
‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, grandmother?’

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be like the COFFEE.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cyberbullying Tips For Protecting Kids

Cyberbullying Defense and Protection Tips - 

Online Bully?  Here's Some Help

Online Bullying

"Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.

Not all bullying happens in person.  Increasingly it takes place online, emails, by texting and other means.  Cyberbullying, social media bullying, or online bullying, can be dealt with using some simple tips.   Here are some things you can do to protect yourself or your kids while online.  
  • Discuss the repercussions, consequences (even unintended) and safety issues about media, computer, phone texting and other app use prior to ever being allowed to use it. Parents, keep in mind that although you may not allow your children a phone or monitor online activity, they will have access to it through friends and other sources. Better trained and prepared for what can happen rather than operate under the assumption that they do not have access. 
  • Think twice before you post. If it cannot be forwarded, then it should not be posted. Just think of everything online or by phone as public and shared. Consider also how embarrassing it might be used or manipulated to hurt others.
  • Keep passwords secret from other kids and change them often.  Parents should always have children's passwords as a matter of practical safety for themselves and others.
  • Consider whom might see your online posts or messages.  Strangers? Friends of friends? Understand and maximize privacy settings to add an additional layer of security.
  • Parents must be kept in the loop.  Media and online time are privileges that come with serious safety considerations.  Kids, remember that your parents care about you and want to keep you safe.  Parents, remember to nurture your child's trust by having open communication about tough issues.
  • When in doubt - don't.  
  • Talk to an adult about any messages that make you feel upset or you might be concerned about.  If it is abuse, harassment, rude or cyber bullying, report it immediately.
Three Steps To Prevent Online Bullying
1. Stop responding no matter how provoking.  Don't take the bait.
2. Block, unfriend, disconnect from the person so that you no longer engage them.
3. Document and report the abuse if you need to pursue it.

Don't write it, participate in in, and do not forward it.  Be the hero.

For more information on online bullying (cyberbullying) or bullying prevention help.

Online Bully?  Here's Some Help



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What To Do When Bullying Finds You - Bullying Defense Tips For Parents and Teachers

Feeling Bullied?
An opposite approach the the institutionally administered so called anti-bully movement.
Inside Out Instead of Top Down - Methods That ACTUALLY WORK!

What Do You Do When Bullying Finds You or Your Child?
Great question.  Among the myriad of self proclaimed experts and well intentioned amateurs offering advice it may be difficult to wade through the sea of responses and find what works for you or your child.

Parents and Teachers...

  • Bullying is the most common form of violence in American society according to the National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Bullying affects 15 to 30 percent of students as either bullying child or the targets of bullying
  • Studies have shown that adults who were bullied as children have a much higher level of depression and lower self-esteem than those who were not.

1. Investigate.

Prescription without diagnosis can lead to increasing problems and complexity, exacerbating the problems rather than solving them.
Is the child teachable and capable of self help?  Perhaps guiding them through the process with options is the best course of action.  What are the roles of the teacher, administration, parents, friends and social climate?  What are the emotional and social skill levels of the individuals involved?
How can we work to improve resiliency factors, dignity and peace of mind of the child?
Above all, reassure the child that you believe them, will listen and help them make the situation better.

2. Separate facts from fiction and judgmental opinion.

Jumping to conclusions, labeling "bully" or demonizing are proven to be failed approaches.  Rather than label, seek first to understand the dynamics, history, individual dynamics and keep an open mind to the totality of reality and the contributing factors.
Use wisdom, compassion, empathy and reassurance without the blame game.  Responding with wisdom is more powerful and helpful than reacting with simple emotion.

3. Encourage empathy and dignity for all parties at every step.  

Avoid demonizing, labeling and other escalating behaviors.  Reassure the individuals that you understand the pain and acknowledge it.  However, try to help them understand that they are empowered with expanded points of view and that forgiveness has more power than revenge.   Anger is OK as long as it moves us in a more positive and helpful position.  Anger just needs to be directed in a productive direction.  It does not help to dwell on it for too long.
Focus on solutions and the desired outcome, rather than the past hurts and actions.  Revenge focuses on the past.  Peace is focuses on the future.  This doesn't mean to diminish the pain or injury, nor ignore it.  It simply means to address it appropriately and not let it hold you back.

4. Collaborate with teachers, counselors, and parents for a win-win solution.

Begin to look at the resources available and see everyone as on the same team of desiring a positive outcome.  Look for ways to make it a teachable moment and seek the best available long-term outcome.  An empowered child who feels happy and secure is much better than a child empowered with pseudo-celebrity from attention grabbing victim-hood.  Being a perpetual victim is not a wise life-choice.  We may not always be able to control what happens to us, however, wise and powerful individuals choose how they react to those circumstances.  Share true stories which exemplify overcoming odds and difficult situations while retaining dignity.

5. Educate, train and prepare the individual for the future.

When we see these conflicts as opportunities for teachable moments, we change the dynamics significantly.  Sometimes, children who demonstrate aggressive behaviors are at risk at home, abused or simply neglected.
Children who are passive, often believing they are being nice, have no idea that they are making themselves soft targets and positioned for repeated abuse, and not just with bullying.  Instead teach them how to choose the behaviors, body language, boundaries and actions of an assertive individual.  Offer peaceful solutions so they can make better choices.
If you must intervene, do so with the knowledge of the short and long term consequences.

Other Free Resources:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BullyProof Your Child - Certification Training for Parents, Teachers and Youth Leaders in Phoenix AZ

BullyProof Your Child - Certification Training for Parents, Teachers and Youth Leaders

Bodyguard trainer says the reason reports of bullying on the rise is because adults are encouraging victim culture and creating soft target kids.

Following the flood of media reports on bullying, cyber bullying related teen suicide, some parents and teachers are taking steps to prepare children for the hazards they face in school, camp and life.
In addition to fire safety, internet safety, how to swim, the 911 emergency system, parents are adding sexual abuse prevention, self defense from depression, obesity, diabetes and BULLYING.
They are doing this with a unique program developed by safety specialist and bodyguard trainer John Nottingham.
John Nottingham has been on the front lines of bullying prevention for nearly thirty years teaching children, men and women how to handle bullying effectively.  He uses a method developed from strategies he teaches to bodyguards to spot potential problems in advance, redirect behavior with words, and change the context of a would be bullying situation.
Listen to Our Chief Instructor 

John Nottingham Discuss the USA Martial Arts Anti-Bully Program on the
Outreach Today Radio Show

  • Bullying is the most common form of violence in American society according to the National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Bullying affects 15 to 30 percent of students as either bullying child or the targets of bullying
  • Studies have shown that adults who were bullied as children have a much higher level of depression and lower self-esteem than those who were not.
The facts show that over 85% of bullying goes unreported. 
Nottingham's BullyProof Vest strives to offer the most practical and effective bullying prevention program available. 
Learn more about bullying, how to prevent or resolve it, and more about the Bullying Prevention Initiative International organization or the Arizona chapter Arizona Bullying Prevention Initiative.
Protect your children with bullying prevention skills and strategies by contacting USA Martial Arts Phoenix and a certified bully prevention specialist to inquire about upcoming seminars based on the Bullying Prevention Initiative International programs.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BullyProof Vest Busts Bullies for School and Life!

Given enough time, pretty much everyone is going to have to deal with bullying behavior.  Bullying left unchecked can leave lasting emotional, mental and even physical scars that can influence an individual for life.  
A program developed by a bodyguard trainer and martial arts Master is offering hope to thousands of men, women and children who are being bullied.  It is called John Nottingham's BULLYPROOF VEST.  Flying in the face of conventional advice of "Just ignore it", "Walk away" or "Tell a teacher", BullyProof Vest employs a security protocol that identifies the type of bullying, helps the target develop a plan and protects them instantly as well as in the future.

John Nottingham's BullyProof Vest Features:

  • Resilience factors "How Not To Be Selected as a Target for Bullying"
  • Recognition techniques to identify the type of bullying to select the optimal solution
  • Verbal Judo for effective comeback lines that preserve one's dignity
  • Tools, data and resources to get the help needed
  • Hope to those who feel hopeless in a bullying situation

John Nottingham's Bully Busting Process 

1. Make friends.  Peace before punches if at all possible.  Use the Golden Rule, humor, deflection, change the frame of how you see the situation if it can help.  Kindness, compassion and forgiveness, can often kill cruelty if properly applied.
2. Communicate with confidence.  Learn to set boundaries with verbal, tonal and body language cues and get needs met in a healthy manner.
3. Avoid bullying set ups and dangerous situations that could lead to bullying abuse.  Learn where, when and why bullying can take place to be able to thwart it.
4. Set firm boundary by setting a line.  Learn assertion competence to set healthy boundaries and set the stage for protecting yourself.
5. Protect yourself. Nobody has the right to abuse you.  Your safety is more important that other people's feelings.
The training program delves deeper into each category of this peace process.  It has proven itself effective time and time again for nearly thirty years. For more information about John Nottingham or his security or protective programs contact