Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bully Proofing Your Child

Bully Proofing Your Child
The Founder of the Bullying Prevention Program Called Bully-Proof Vest 5 Step Method of Handling Bullying Without Fighting Shares Secrets to Help Parents and Teachers Protect Children from Bullying in Phoenix AZ

Bully Proofing Your Child starts with some simple but often overlooked or under-emphasized steps. Having taught thousands of children and adults steps to effectively handle bullying behavior over the past 26 years I've been able to learn quite a few practical lessons.

  • How to handle aggressive behavior
  • Developing self-awareness
  • Encouraging empathy
  • Verbal Judo Martial Arts for the Mouth
  • Overcoming worry, fear and anxiety
Some of the same skills we teach at my bodyguard/security training events are directly applicable to these situations. However, we have to consider the audience and the age-appropriate learning methodology.

I'm able to meet thousands of parents and children each year and have had the opportunity to analyze the behavior of children, their parents and notice what works... more importantly when it comes to handling bullying, what doesn't.

  1. It begins with the relationship from the parent or teacher to the child. The child needs to feel that it is OK to talk to you about difficult or troubling subjects. The lines of communication need to always remain open. Children need to know they can trust their parents to not to over-react to what they tell you and that they will be believed. I always tell parents, trust but verify. But the child should see that you choose to trust them first and will then tactfully verify. It is important to preserve the bond of trust and the dignity of the child. It is important to treat all safety concerns with a calm and sincere effort.
  2. Setting an example how to deal with aggressive or abusive behavior. Children will follow their role models and often replicate what they see. How they experience and witness the parent handing aggressive behavior will usually result in them doing the same. Think of these moments as teachable times where you can show how self control, putting something in context and treating others appropriately is important. Simply taking a moment to use an anger management technique could be powerful. If you cut off in traffic, rather than lashing out in anger, using threats or rude gestures, take a deep breath, count to ten and use your words to redirect your emotions and behavior. "Wow, I need to take a breath, count to ten and take some cool down time." You are then teaching your child how to use these techniques and can use this example when they face frustrating challenges. This sets the stage for staying calm in the face of a bullying situation and creating some emotional separation to think more clearly.
  3. Building strong social skills are critical for bully proofing your child. Simply teaching them how to make eye contact, shake hands firmly, do introductions and initiate conversations help build confidence and bullying prevention skills. Additionally, your child will feel more comfortable trying to confront the problem with words or access help by involving adults. Children with higher social intelligence and more advanced social skills are less likely to be selected as the target of bullying. This is why it is important to help your child develop self awareness and empathy.
  4. Testing and guiding social intelligence. One simple test that I advise parents to give their child is simply to observe them introducing themselves to a group or social situation. Notice how they shy away, or work their way into a group. Note their body language, tone, word choice. You can encourage improvement in all of these areas if necessary. You can also watch how your child demonstrates problem solving skills. Often when a child reverts to bullying, they are demonstrating a lack of alternative social skills. By providing them with other options, they can develop more responsible methods of getting what they want. This can go a long way in teaching your child how to prevent and manage aggressive behavior, abuse and bullying situations.
  5. Imparting and reinforcing strong safety skills. Teaching safety skills should be a natural part of growing up. Reinforcing them is a matter of taking advantage of teachable moments just as you would teaching a child to hold your hand and look both ways before crossing a street. Just like wearing a seat belt, bullying and abduction safety habits can be introduced in a non-threatening manner as to not cause undo anxiety or worry. Role playing is another great way of reinforcing these lessons and, with a bit of creativity, can be a fun way of boding with a child.
  6. Encouraging integrity, character and doing the right thing are ways to build a positive self concept and self respect. These go a long way in building inner strength. You can notice children who carry themselves with dignity and confidence. They project an inner strength that comes from the respect they have for themselves. Respect begins with one's self and in the home. Additionally, a child who has a strong sense of values and self is far more likely to speak up to help defend someone else. Children can learn to be a good friend, include others, and thwart bullying by speaking up when they see wrong. Isn't that the world we all want to live in? In my Nottingham's KNIGHTS program, we encourage a hero culture (as opposed to the victim culture) and celebrate courage, honor, standing up for the weak. Our goal is to have the strong be confident and courageous in defending others who may not have the ability to do so. Reports show that over 85% of bullying happens away from teachers and adults. Encouraging character, integrity and a hero culture helps redirect and reduce bullying incidences in social situations when adults may not be present.
These are integral lessons reinforced in most martial arts schools. In my USA Martial Arts school in Phoenix, these are not only encouraged, but required. Students earn patches, stickers, and advance in martial arts belt rank based on displaying consistent positive choices, good habits, social as well as leadership skills and safety skills.

But you don't need a professional martial arts instructor and bodyguard trainer to help your child learn these things. It can begin at home or school with simple encouragement and consistent reinforcement over time.

Brought to you by

Saturday, December 3, 2011



Cost: Free - Fully Sponsored by USA Martial Arts Phoenix & Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
Phoenix, AZ – Master John Nottingham's USA Martial Arts in Phoenix has announced plans for a community Bullying Prevention Seminar scheduled for 6:00 PM, each Wednesday, December 2011.

The seminars are part of USA Martial Arts Bullying Prevention initiative international to help educate our communities in preventing Bullying Behavior. With over 26 years of experience in successfully helping men, women and children deal with bullying, USA Martial Arts Phoenix is flexing its muscle against Bullying by teaching free Bullying Prevention seminars in local schools, companies and organizations.

As part of our campaign to prevent bullying, USA Martial Arts Phoenix has partnered with an international group who is largely recognized as the authority on Bullying Prevention, the Bullying Prevention International Initiative and the Phoenix Bullying Prevention Program "Bully Proof Vest".

According to local USA Martial Arts Phoenix owner and instructor Master John Nottingham, education is the key to Bullying Prevention.
“Research indicates that 1 in 4 children are affected by bullying and the impact can be far reaching. Consequences of bullying include anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, physical ailments, absenteeism and poor academic achievement. Through age-appropriate instruction, direct training and open houses such as this one, collectively martial arts schools around the globe aim to have a positive impact on reducing bullying and victimization”, says bodyguard trainer Nottingham.

Nottingham was once the target of bullying himself until he discovered the self-defense lessons of martial arts. Later he incorporated bodyguard strategies used to protect VIPs and other dignitaries. His first client was himself and has since been teaching and developing his methods for over 20 years.
"This program is the only program we are aware of that is designed by professional protectors and has practical elements that keep children safe. It's practical, and easy to learn through our step by step method. At the core of the program is learning how to recognize, avoid, de-escalate and deter bullying before it begins. We emphasize empathy, social intelligence, good decisions and habits and making friends if possible. However, when push comes to shove, we can show how to effectively protect yourself effectively without going overboard and doing something excessive."

Attendance at the Bullying Prevention Seminar is limited. To register contact USA Martial Arts Phoenix at (602) 896-8721 or

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Parents Getting False Sense of Security with Bullying Prevention Programs

Academics Masquerading as Self-Defense Experts May Give Parents False Sense of Security with Bullying Prevention Programs?
  • Is The Anti-Bullying Movement like the Failed Stranger Danger Movement?
  • Why is the Anti-Bullying Movement now a centralized Federal government effort, spending your tax dollars, rather than a local, family, teacher, school issue?
  • Why are the so called bullying prevention programs not designed by professional protectors?
  • Does your child's anti-bullying program infringe on free speech?
  • Does your child's school anti-bullying program scare your child into being a victim and not defending himself if physically attacked?
  • Is bullying really a crisis? Is bullying an epidemic? Is bullying really different present day as compared to the past? What exactly is "bullying" by strict definition anyway?
Did you know that recent research* shows that school-wide anti-bullying programs aren't working?

The so-called "ANTI-BULLYING" programs your child's school is teaching may not be what they are promoting them to be. This is especially true for some of the more politically motivated programs being pushed in some schools.

Here is a discussion I have had on more than one occasion with a parent, administrator or well-intentioned teacher...

Teacher: "We have a great bullying prevention program." (implying we don't need yours).
JN: "Really? What makes it so good?"
Teacher: "They make sure to teach the kids to speak up. Our school takes bullying really seriously. They have meetings, assemblies and everything."
JN: "That's great. What do they teach if the child is getting beat up?
Teacher: "Uhhh??"
JN: "Here's my question...what if right now, your child is being held in a headlock, hair pulled, punched in the eye then thrown to the ground?"
Teacher: [Blank stare. Pause. Eyebrows raise.] Hmm. "To report it?"
JN: "Do you believe that is the best response and willing to accept those consequences? What about the child?"
Teacher: "Hm. I never thought of it that way."
JN: Research indicates that over 85% of bullying goes unreported. What about those times?
JN: If there were a way to teach your child how to safely escape that situation with minimal damage to either child would you want to learn about it?"

That's my definition of a bullying prevention program. It must address the reality of aggressive behavior, conflict management and problem solving in the context of a child's daily life - in or out of school.
If your so-called bullying prevention program doesn't include physical intervention skills, then it is not a bullying prevention program.

Before you think I am bashing teachers, the public education system or our government's programs on bullying, please take a moment to understand my background.

o Trainer to military, law enforcement and bodyguards
o Graduate of Gavin de Beckers Academy for Protectors and trained in Advanced Threat Assessment and Management
o Taught over 10,000 students in my career
o 6th Degree Master multiple Black Belt holder
o Trained by the US Army for Military Intelligence
o 20 plus years of bullying prevention and self-defense research, practice and training

My goal is to be the catalyst for a more informed discussion and one that includes safety and self defense experts. My contention is that it could be better. That's why I created training programs and an organization (The Bullying Prevention Initiative International) dedicated to that mission. We have better answers to the problem but can easily be lost in a sea of misinformation being aggressively promoted.

I was the target of bullying and learned to over come it. More importantly, I have been SUCCESSFULLY been teaching men, women and children how to deal with bullying and self defense situations for over 25+ years. I'm confident in what I teach because I have evidence and personal experience to back it up.

While I deeply respect the teaching profession, the numerous professional educators in my schools and seminars over the years my contention is with the merits and approach to the bullying programs - not the individuals.

My belief is that when teachers and parents know better then they can choose to do better. Right now, some serious emotional placebos being promoted when it comes to leading people to believe that some of these popular bullying prevention programs are going to effectively keep children safe. While they may* contribute toward safety, they could be much better.

Heard or read any of these? If you want the facts, you should consider doing more research.

The Facts About Most Bullying Programs
What many schools are representing as a bullying prevention program is in fact a verbal and emotional abuse reporting program.

Wishful thinking is not effective self-defense. Nor is leaving children to their own devices when push comes to shove. If children do not know what appropriate physical intervention skills they can use, they may over-react and respond with excessive force.

Excessive force can be the result of ineffectively or inappropriately applied force options. There are appropriate force, humane and responsible physical intervention techniques available.

Our programs present options for using simple distractions, leverage and defensive physical intervention techniques. It protects all the children involved while being socially, morally and legally conscientious.

Any good bullying prevention program will list the types of bullying as:
1. Verbal
2. Social (Indirect, Alienation, Cyber-Bullying)
3. Physical

Note: Cyber-bullying is one of the first two via a sometimes anonymous and often, poorly monitored 24/7 access medium.

So then where is the training for physical abuse prevention? What mechanism is in place that protects children from physical abuse? The fact is that it remains ill addressed and the only mechanisms that most programs suggest is prevention and reporting. These options, while important, are negligent and incomplete.

Pre-contact and post-contact solutions are important, however it does nothing to help a desperate child having the daylights beat and kicked out of him or her.

Inevitably, when we present this point to many schools they express concern about liability. This is a valid concern but not one a parent can put over their child's safety when it comes to a clear case of abuse. We have options for true bullying prevention training that also protects from liability. Our training covers program bullying prevention training program options for schools, teachers and private citizens.

Perhaps you've seen some of these emotional placebo type efforts. But think critically for a moment, do they actually reduce bullying? Are they keeping our children any safer?

Some of the bullying programs actually vilify children, many who are targets themselves and acting out with bullying behavior. These purported ANTI-BULLY programs can be just as aggressive as other kinds of bullying. Being a bigger bully is not a recommended nor acceptable approach to bullying prevention and raising happy, healthy safer children. These are the same types of poorly researched programs still teaching such irresponsible techniques as "just walk away" or "bullies don't like themselves and are just insecure". The facts do not support these beliefs.

My issue is with the security theater type approach so prevalent today. The facts just do not support the claims and impression they are misleading themselves and parents with.

While a applaud the well-intentioned efforts of teachers and administrators implementing bullying prevention programs, I take issue with the programs neglecting one of the most important aspects of human rights - the right to not be abused - the right to self-defense. Without options, it can get extremely violent.

Furthermore I deplore the idea that the safety and self-defense advice is coming from people without expertise in the field. That is clearly misrepresentation and misleading others to the children's detriment. I find it inexcusable that the required self-defense and personal safety information/expertise is available and willing to help, yet gets ignored.

We believe that children need to know when they have the right to defend themselves to stop an attacker from hurting them. In our programs we do not teach fighting. Fighting is not the same thing as self-defense. We teach that self defense is a last resort and only used when you are going to be injured and you cannot escape or get help. If you agree, we might be the training program you've been looking for.

Wake up call. Sunshine, rainbows, clever packaging and BULLY FREE ZONE signs don't solve the problem of fist meeting face. Denial and wishful thinking are not acceptable self defense options.

We're here to help when you're ready.

Yours for happier, healthier, safer kids,

John Nottingham
Bullying Prevention Specialist

NOTE: Since this is a brief blog article (rant really) the issues brought are addressed in more detail in our training programs. If you would like the answers to these and other questions please feel free to contact us at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How To Prevent Bullying Program Phoenix Partners With Bullying Prevention Initiative International

How to Prevent Bullying

The Arizona Bully Proof Project is a division of The Arizona Bullying Prevention initiative created by protection specialist John Nottingham.

The training and curriculum offer ways to prevent bullying, bullying facts, proven methods on how to stop bullying, effective ways to stop bullying, bullying statistics, tips on how to stop bullying, how to stop bullying for kids, and how to stop workplace bullying.

Courses and Topics:
  • The ABC's of Conflict Avoidance
  • The Bully Proof Vest Program
  • The 5 Step Method of Handling a Bully Without Fighting
  • How to Stop Bullying The Smart Way
  • Turning Your Bully Into a Buddy
  • How to Defeat a Bully Without Fighting
For more information about the Arizona Bully Proof Project or the Bully Prevention Initiative International contact:

Bully Proof Project
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Trick or Treat Safety Tips

Halloween Trick or Treat Safety Tips

1. Never go alone
2. Carry a flashlight
3. Only approach homes you trust and that have a light on
4. Have parents check candy before you eat it
5. Be sure your costume is flame resistant
6. Stay on sidewalk
7. Don't cut across yards or driveways
8. Use reflective tape on costumes
9. Remember 911 can be called from any phone
10. ALWAYS take mask off before crossing street

Keep pets, especially cats, inside and bring in pumpkins/jack-o-lanterns after trick or treat hours.

Avoid potentially dangerous situations and practice safe habits. If you sense something is not right, go to a friend or neighbors house.

If you notice bullying, egging, paintball, pumpkin smashing or other dangerous behavior, get to a safe place immediately and report it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How To Defeat Your Bully Without Fighting - Using Brains Over Brawn!

Throughout the month of October, USA Martial Arts Phoenix will be conducting a series of Bully Prevention workshops titled, "How To Defeat Your Bully Without Fighting". It includes techniques from PI, Bodyguard trainer and Martial Arts Master John Nottingham's Bully Proof Vest curriculum. The Bully Proof Vest curriculum is a program he teaches at schools and to audiences across the country.

Nottingham, a former US Army Airborne veteran was once the target of bullying himself. Now he shares a program that gives parents, teachers and children peaceful and practical options for handling bullies.

"We are the only agency who has developed our curriculum over the past 26 years and taught over 10,000 men, women and children. Our concepts have been shared with thousands of schools, students, parents and teachers at our expense. We have included practical skills that include pre-incident strategies all the way to physical intervention and how not to get hurt when things get violent. Our program incorporates elements from Verbal Judo, Bodyguard protective security strategies, avoidance, prevention and deterrence skills. We've helped thousands of children successfully deal with bullies while keeping their dignity. Not many programs can claim that."

Nottingham points out one major flaw in other bullying programs is that when they teach a child to "just walk away" when things get physical, that well intentioned child takes a beating for the bad advice.
"Self defense is situational and has to fit the unique aspects of the conflict. Children can be trained to see the signs of physical aggression and know when and how they can protect themselves from harm. We teach simple, step by step options that are reasonable and responsible. It works - that much we know from experience."
  • School Yard Bullying
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Social Bullying
  • Mental and Emotional Bullying
  • Physical Bullying
We have proven answers to protect your child.

To reserve space for your child you must register by sending an email to: and provide your email. A representative will contact you for an appointment and additional information.

USA Martial Arts Phoenix
Bully Proofing Arizona
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, Arizona 85032

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How To Handle a Bully Without Fighting

Bully Buster Program

The Arizona Bully Prevention Initiative- Phoenix Bully Proof Project is dedicated to providing a safe learning and working environment for both our students and our teachers. With that in mind, the district has developed a series of intervention and prevention programs

It is the goal of everyone involved in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley Arizona based program is to provide effective bullying prevention education, training and resources to parents, teachers, and children.

The Arizona Bullying Prevention Project has teamed up with USA Martial Arts Phoenix and Nottingham Sword and Shield Security to provide free Bully Prevention Workshops throughout the month of October. October is Bully Prevention Month.

For more information email or call 602-896-8721.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bully Prevention & Self Defense Secrets - a Martial Arts Philosophical Perspective

by John Nottingham, EPS, PI, 6th Dan
The Arizona Bullying Prevention Project

When I first started martial arts in my youth I learned a secret to self defense and bullying prevention that has served me well throughout life. I'd like to share that secret with you in this brief blog article.

First you have to understand my teachers background. He was a ROK Marine, a Korean immigrant living in the Midwest teaching a hybrid martial art system. Not only did we get a dose of traditional Korean and Chinese Martial Arts philosophy, his lessons included some simple common sense wisdom he learned from his unique life experience. He grew up in the mean streets of a rapidly changing Korea, an ancient culture rapidly changing into the new world. Times were tough and you had to learn to stand up for yourself. Crime, rioting and street violence were frequent so his martial arts skills had to work if he wanted to be able to defend himself.

His techniques could not simply be theoretical or a hobby limited to personal development and fitness. He had to know what worked on the street, under pressure and often against multiple attackers. When a thug is in your face, this is not the time to hope your martial arts techniques work. He had to rely on them to save his bacon.
He later would serve in the military as a Marine during the VietNam conflict. ROK Marines were known for their ferocity, bravery and intense loyalty. So his experience was as a street fighter, martial artist (Chinese Temple Kung Fu and Korean MooDukKwan TangSooDo - later referred to as TaeKwonDo.) and as a combat soldier.

I was a young wide eyed kid wanting to learn the mysterious martial arts secrets from the orient. My imagination fired by James Bond doing Jujutsu, Bruce Lee doing Jeet Kune Do and Chuck Norris doing Tang Soo Do (Korean Martial Arts) I wanted this mysterious power of martial arts and self defense. After begging Mom for Martial Arts lessons, researching the phone book (this was before Google lol), and asking friends, I found two schools in town. The one with the tough reputation ended up being my choice. Over the years I've been blessed to follow my dream and study numerous systems.

Like so many others, I began my martial arts journey and discovered that it was much harder and different than what I had expected. This was particularly true for an insecure kid with asthma, allergies and issues of low self esteem and insecurity. Martial Arts helped me change all that. What I learned was that the battle we fight is first within ourselves. Once we begin to learn that, only then can we learn to deal kindly, politely and compassionately with others.
My first teacher taught me many lessons about work ethic, discipline, a strong mental "I CAN" attitude. Along with that, he taught each of his students this simple but profound truth about self defense. It equally fits how to deal with bullying and how to handle a bully problem. He said, "The best self defense is to have no enemies." Later, Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee would teach me that the most powerful person is one who can make friends and the best self defense technique in the world is the ability to turn a friend into an enemy.

Last week I reflected on these fond memories and martial arts lessons I've used over the years as I taught our USA Martial Arts students our lesson of the week. This particular phrase and lesson comes from my mentor Shihan Dave Kovar. "Who is mighty? One with control over their emotions and can make friends from enemies."

Although it seems simple, these lessons are powerful and profound in their use. It is for this and other reasons I feel so strongly that martial arts is so important for today's youth. It has the time-tested wisdom they need to be healthy, confident and strong individuals. It instills virtues that serve you throughout your life. It contributes toward a better community through building better citizens with a mindset of compassion, friendship and peace. It also helps keep America strong by preparing today's youth for tomorrows challenges. It all starts with the courage to face the fears and limitations within ourselves.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bully Prevention Begins With Building Children's Self Esteem

Bully Prevention Specialist John Nottingham Says Teaching Kids How To Stop A Bully Begins With Building a Kid's Confidence

You can tell a child to walk away from a fight all day and they will still get into fights or be bullied. You can hope your child has the social skills to properly handle a bully or you can take specific steps to equip them with the correct bully prevention skills.

Social Intelligence is Built on Confidence
The difference between someone who successfully avoids being the target for bullying and those who are not is often social intelligence. Social intelligence is easy for some children and difficult for others. In my experience the underlying factor in all socially skilled children is the confidence factor.

Self Esteem and Confidence in Children Helps Prevent Bullying
Children with higher self esteem and solid confidence have a foundation from which to build. They see themselves as worthy of defending. After all, if you do not think much of yourself, then you won't see much reason to stand up to a bully. It takes a lot of courage to risk social ostracization, ridicule and even physical harm. Without a strong self concept, high self esteem and functional confidence, a child stands little chance in school, the playground or street. Before long, the negative experiences of being picked on can ad up and reinforce negative feelings towards one's self.

Taking Responsibility Helps Prevent Bullying
Preparing children for such social battles is the responsibility of the parent. Teachers, coaches and other responsible adults can reinforce and support these goals, but the primary source of education should come from the parents. Children model what they see and repeat what they experience in the microcosm of a family.

Lead By Example for Bullying Prevention
Children notice and mentally record how their parents handle conflicts-especially when handling aggression and power-imbalances like bullying behavior. They notice if we manipulate, deceive, confront, or avoid to deal with others. Depending on the child's personality and experiences, they choose to follow or not follow in our footsteps.

Building Strong Relationships Helps Prevent Being Targeted for Bullying
Often, children do exactly what they have see their parents do. This is why it is so important to have a strong relationship with children and be mindful that our actions are always teaching - positive or negatively. Ask yourself, based on how you last handled a social encounter, how might your child react to a bully?

Listening Builds Children's Self-Esteem
How well parents listen and take an active part in teaching their children how to develop problem solving and coping skills is key to effective bullying prevention. Coupled with a parents knowledge of their child's personality and social strengths, taking time to role play can really enhance the child's ability to effectively handle bullying behavior at school or elsewhere. Role playing builds confidence. Confidence significantly improves a child's chances for successfully dealing with a bully.

Want more information on bully prevention?
For other self-esteem and confidence enhancing tips, feel free to email us or visit our facebook page ARIZONA BULLY PROOF TRAINING.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reduce Bullying and Improve School Learning Environment

The evidence-based 5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting program teaches elementary, middle school and high school students to identify, defuse, and safely report bullying, be assertive, and build friendships. In fact, recent research found that programs using our techniques led to an over 30 percent decline in bullying and a 70 percent reduction in destructive bystander behavior.5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting lessons can help children feel safe and supported by the adults and teachers around them so that they can build stronger bonds to school and focus on academic performance. Additionally the program supports the school's staff with school-wide policies and training. Now everyone can work together to build a safe environment free from the fear of bullying and messy lawsuits.

5 Steps To Handle a Bully Without Fighting is a unique program designed by professional protectors (Executive Security Bodyguards) , educators and the latest research on bullying prevention.

Partners in Bullying Prevention Education

Call 602-896-8721

Monday, June 13, 2011

13 Year Old Boy Bullied. Mother Seeks Help to Deal With Bullying in School.

Recently a mother of a 13 year old boy wrote to me to inquire about a situation her son is facing at school with bullying and cruel comments. I included the response in this blog because I know that many children are facing difficult situations like these and are not sure what to do about it.

Parents become frustrated in trying to protect their children but sometimes find they are not getting the cooperation from schools and teachers as much as they would like. I have encountered this numerous times and hear the frustration of parents facing these circumstances. While my first recommendation is to work with the school teachers, counselors and administration, it may not always yield the desired results.

There are a broad range of responses from schools and school teachers regarding bullying. I have encountered schools who take bullying quite seriously and are well equipped to take positive action. Other times, I have seen teachers turn a blind eye to bullying behavior under the misguided notion that, "Boys will be boys." Worse yet, I have encountered teachers who are manipulative bullies themselves who believe on a gut level that "the kid is getting what he deserves" or "needs to toughen up". In any event, the school nor the teacher will ever be the child's parent. Your child needs you to help him learn how to deal with this situation so he can be equipped to properly manage it for the rest of his life. But this isn't something he should do alone.

"“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”—Chinese proverb

Our 5 step how to handle a bully process uses a multi-faceted approach that treats the targeted child (the bullied), the bullying behavior (the "bully" or "bullies"), the social environment fostering and tolerating the bullying behavior, the policies of the school, as well as the parents of the involved children.

Good communication and a little knowledge with role playing can go a long way in handling bullying problems. Don't give up! Keep trying to work with the school, coaches, teachers, counselors and the administration - your child is worth it. There is hope and some great options available. I hope this advice to a concerned mother on How To Handle Bullying in School is some assistance and encouragement to mothers (and fathers) and their children suffering from bullying.

Dear Mr. Nottingham:

Krystal said...

Thanks for posting this advice [Verbal Judo Comebacks for Bullying]. My son has been harassed every day for a year and a half. He is 13 and has several disabilities that make school alone a challenge. He also takes medication that has produced bad body odor in the past. We have since changed it and the smell is gone. He is very conscious about his hygiene and is very clean but the kids still insist that he smells and mention it whenever they can. The other children were justified by the school staff when I called the counselor about it. She told me that the teachers and she agreed with the kids and they (the other children) should not have had to be near him. There has been no help now that we have eliminated the problem of body odor except to answer an email inquiring if they notice the smell anymore. They said the "don't think" they have. The children not wanting to sit near him and blocking their noses etc., is still tolerated by the staff. Worse things are said behind the teacher's backs. He feels that it will never change and he will always be the "loser kid that smells". I am heartbroken for him. He is so lonely and would love to have just one friend. He is a sensitive caring person and anyone would be lucky to have him as a friend, but I think the other kids find it too risky. I finally told him to fight back. I am not afraid of him getting attacked. He is 5'11" and 165lbs. These kids are much smaller than he is so I doubt he would have to defend himself anyway. Is this bad advice? Should I tell him to keep ignoring him? It has not helped yet, and don't think it will. I'm not sure what to expect from you, I just thought your ideas were well written and felt safe to vent here. If anyone else has advice or a blog to suggest, it would be appreciated.

John D. Nottingham EPS, PI, 6th Dan said...

Thank you for writing a response and sharing your story. I think it can help others who identify with your son's situation with bullying. My heart goes out to you and your son because I know the pain that difficult situations with bullying and cruel comments can cause. It isn't just the words that hurt but the social ostracization and an undeserved reputation.
I would suggest enrolling your son in a quality martial arts program with bully prevention training. A good Martial Arts instructor will help him build on positive experiences, learn social skills in a safe-haven, as well as effective tools for how to handle a bully without fighting. It is a positive place where he can also have a clean start and learn to make friends.
With several of my students we had an instructor from our martial arts academy visit the school where the bullying was taking place. They conducted bully prevention training and then highlighted our student (the child being bullied) by having them come up and demonstrate how to break a board. This usually wins the peers over and gives them a new reputation that supersedes any previous one. I think your son is blessed to have such a caring and involved mother. With you on his side I think he is already on his way to a brighter future.
Strength in safety,
John D. Nottingham

Sunday, May 29, 2011

WWE Launches Anti-Bullying Alliance

WWE Launches Anti-Bullying Alliance
WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) with the Creative Coalition announce an Anti-Bullying Alliance program April 29, 2011. The program is called "be a STAR" is a national anti-bullying campaign. They are working in cooperation with the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) Ad Council and others.

STAR Show Tolerance and Respect
According to WWE/Creative Coalition, the mission of "be a STAR" is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness.

Brought To You In Part by Our Community Parter & Sponsor

Phoenix Martial Arts School Teaches Bully Prevention at Summer Camp for Kids

This summer your children can have the time of their lives and learn some valuable skills.  USA Martial Arts Phoenix is offering it's highly acclaimed summer camp for kids at it's North Phoenix location.  Day and evening camps available for summer fun for kids.
Sign up your Karate Kid now and we'll give your child free movie passes to Kung Fu Panda2!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Free Bully Prevention Training at USA Martial Arts Summer Camp for Kids

Kids Summer Camp is Best Activity for Children

Phoenix Martial Arts School Teaches Bully Prevention at Summer Camp for Kids

This summer your children can have the time of their lives and learn some valuable skills.  USA Martial Arts Phoenix is offering it's highly acclaimed summer camp for kids at it's North Phoenix location.  Day and evening camps available for summer fun for kids.
Sign up your Karate Kid now and we'll give your child free movie passes to Kung Fu Panda2!
  • Fun games
  • Skill drills
  • Fitness fun
  • Adventure Themes
  • Great activities
  • Disguised learning
  • Bully Prevention Training
Your kids will learn how to detect, deter, de-escalate, diffuse and defend bully behavior.
  • Detect Bullying "Set Ups" and Situtations
  • Deter Bullying Behavior
  • De-escalate Bullying Situations
  • Diffuse Bullying Behavior
  • Defend Bully Attacks from Verbal, Emotional, Cyber, and Physical
Prepare your children with the confidence to succeed in school, social situations and life with USA Martial Arts Leadership Life Skills from Martial Arts Masters program!
Call or email now to sign up for the next camp cycle.  We have camps throughout summer.  Don't put it off because this offer won't last and the camp is expected to fill up fast.
Telephone 602-896-8721
Birthday Parties, Adventure Themed Events, After School Activities, Safety Seminars, Self Defense Skills, Fun Functional Fitness, Self Esteem Enhancement

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Georges St. Pierre is the welterweight champion of the UFC...and he was once bullied.

Bullied?  Feeling Tired, Trapped and Alone About Bullying?  
Find Out What This UFC Champion Did About Being Bullied In School When He Was a Kid.

Georges St. Pierre is the welterweight champion of the UFC.  But little Georges St. Pierre was a brainy skinny kid who got picked on a lot.  In fact, in a recent interview GSP describes the pain and fear he experienced in his childhood due to school bullying.

Bullied Kid Becomes UFC Champion
Now considered one of the greatest pound for pound UFC fighters in history, Georges Rush St. Pierre is considered a martial arts fighter in his own class.  One of his most appreciated qualities from the traditional martial artists of the world is that he remains respectful in how he conducts himself.  GSP still wears a traditional Karate Gi into the ring with Black Belt, then he bows as a tribute of respect to the fans, judges and opponent.

GSP Fights Against Bullying
GSP is now using his worldwide UFC fame to speak out against bullying behavior.  He hopes his message will give children hope in seeing past their present situation to know that they have a bright future ahead.

UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields
GSP is preparing to fight one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history as he faces WEC Champion Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Canada.

Read more about Georges St. Pierre and what he has to say on Bullies, Bullying and being Bullied in his childhood school years.  Karate turned it all around for GSP, maybe it can for you too.

GSP uses bully pulpit for noble cause

Georges St. Pierre is the welterweight champion of the UFC.

Brought to you by 
The Arizona Bullying Prevention Initiative Bullying Prevention Project
USA Martial Arts Phoenix, Nottingham Sword & Shield Security Bodyguards
The Black Belt Society 602-896-8721


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Addressing School Violence, Bullying Prevention Training Program

How To Prevent Bullying, prevent bullying Beat Bullying, Bullying prevention, how to stop bullying, prevent bullying, stop bullying

Bullying in schools, and violence for that matter are nothing new. However recently it has become much more visible and far reaching due to technology such as the internet and mobile media like texting.

The topic is so popular a recent white house summit was called to address bullying in schools.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
School Violence – Bullying Related Statistics
  • Nearly one in five students in an average classroom is experiencing bullying in some way. The rest of the students, called bystanders, are also affected by the bullying. - Olweus Bullying Research
  • Bullying affects 5 million school children in U.S.
  • Some research suggests that over 100,000 children carry a gun to school "for protection" each year.

According to the Center for Disease Control:
  • Bullying is the #1 cause of school children's absenteeism in the U.S.A.
  • Bullying has been linked to higher rates of teen depression and suicide.

Every day, 160,000 students skip school because they fear being bullied, according to the PACER Center, a parent training and information center for families of children. According to the National Association of School Psychologists,
  • 1 in 7 schoolchildren is a bully or victim
  • Bullying affects 5 million school children in U.S.

How to Stop School Violence – Bullying Prevention Tips
  • How To Easily Spot and Read The Bully.
  • How To Defeat The Bully WITHOUT Violence.
  • The Secret Word That Always Stops The Bully In His Tracks
  • The Little Known Strategies For Dealing With Mental Bullying
  • How To Deal With a Bully - In The Real World!
  • How To Put On Your Bully Proof Vest!
  • Much Much More

If You Are Being Bullied
• Breathe slowly from your lower belly. Observe who is around, potential escape routes, barriers, obstacles you could use. • Be objective. Try to separate your feelings from the situation and treat it like you're a hero helping somebody out of a bad situation. • Tell the bully exactly what you want. "Stop picking on me." • If you can walk away, think about walking towards safety not away from the bully. For example, walk towards a classroom where you can see a teacher or group of friends that you trust. If you are in a park, immediately walk towards a group of adults or a coach. • Avoid fighting - just refuse. Don't make threats or promises because it can make things worse with the bullying.

To stop school violence it takes a collective effort and training. When this happens, a fundamental shift takes place in everyones thinking. It creates a new school culture that has mechanisms for reporting, processing and taking strategic action. Preventative measures are far more potent than reactive measures once an incident has already happened. Bullying prevention training is a great way of initiating a school violence prevention program.
You can learn how to effectively handle bullying behavior. The Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative - Bully Prevention Project works with a team of dedicated specialists to help bully-proof and victim-target proof Arizona Children.

Arizona Bully Intervention Initiative
Bully Prevention Project
Nottingham Sword & Shield Security & USA Martial Arts Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Road Suite 9-10
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Telephone (602) 896-8721


Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative - The AZ Bullying Prevention Project is
dedicated to improving the education and training of bullying dynamics and to
reducing and resolving conflicts peacefully. Furthermore we work to provide
parents and children the peace-of-mind that comes from feeling prepared to
effectively deal with situations which may lead to abuse or violence.

The only research based model by professional protectors that teaches strategies to parents, teachers and children on how to effectively handle situations which may lead to abuse.

This highly effective 5 Step Bully Proofing program is the result of over 25 years of helping thousands of boys, girls, men and women to successfully deal with bullying behavior. Emphasizing a conflict avoidance approach this program trains companies, teachers, parents and how to prevent, avoid and reduce bullying incidents using verbal judo, conflict management strategies, psychology and bodyguard tactics.
These entertaining and informative presentations are made available to children, schools, corporations, churches and organizations as part of Nottingham Sword & Shield Security and USA Martial Arts Phoenix community outreach programs. To book one of our confidence inspiring Security and Safety "Bully Proof" experts and learn how to integrate our 5 step conflict avoidance bodyguard protective strategies contact:
Bully Proof Phoenix
4731 E. Greenway Suite 9
Phoenix, AZ 85032 or call 602-96-8721.

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