Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Phoenix Martial Arts Teacher and Bodyguard Battles Bullying in Arizona

John Nottingham says he started the Arizona Bullying Initiative | AZ Bully Prevention Project to address several growing issues. Schools, parents and teachers are seeking Nottingham's unique program to address the issues of school violence, bullying and how to resolve conflicts peacefully. But before you think he is all about kicking and punching, you might be surprised to find out this former soldier is promoting peace in an entertaining way.

The premise of our program is providing effective tools to protect children. Our foundation is a wise martial arts philosophy, "The battle avoided cannot be lost."

Nottingham is a military, bodyguard and law enforcement trainer in addition to teaching over 10,000 students in his career. This former Army Airborne soldier who served in a Special Forces unit outlines the reasons for developing his unique bullying prevention and school violence program.

BULLY PROOF VEST - How To Deal With Bullying Without Fighting
The Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative | The AZ Bullying Prevention Project

1. The need for evidence based bullying training (bullying is a characterization of human conflict and behavior). Most of the bullying prevention programs are NOT developed by professional protectors (security, bodyguards, etc.). Why? This fact makes our program very different.

2. To address the facts of the issue and cut through the political movements efforts to sensationalize certain aspects of it, robbing people of peace-of-mind and confusing them with misguided, although well-intentioned, and well packaged information.

3. I disagree with the "Anti-bully" effort. Our research indicates that it is causing more harm than good in some cases. I've been posting blog articles about it. I don't believe in vilifying children. Our approach is pro-children. We advocate a different approach. Denial is never a good safety strategy. "Make the bullies go away" is like wishing all criminals magically disappeared to the land of gumdrops, unicorns and rainbows.

4. I believe we are the only group combining bodyguard (security) strategies with the life skills wisdom of martial arts and social skills to address bullying behavior. I've integrated my skills as an advanced threat assessment specialist into my program.

3 Pronged Approach treats:
1. The targeted child of bullying -making them a "harder" less desirable target. Taking them off the bullying child's radar.
2. The bullying child. Statistically, this child is likely to have been bullied and needs treatment.
3. The bystander and social environment enabling the bullying behavior and process.

The major issue with most "school based" or academic programs is that it relies heavily on the school staff. Most of them are already overburdened and ill equipped to handle violence as we have seen in recent history.  We know that most bullying takes place when the teachers are not around. Bullying children choose the times when teachers aren't present... the school bus stop, the transition points without supervision. Isolation and control are the setting for abuse. The other times the social group is part of bullying, enabling it. We arm children with the skills to be prepared for such times.

The second major issue with the school based programs is that they are so fearful of liability (a very real concern) that they NEVER address the physical intervention skills needed to protect a child's life. They instead abdicate or ignore it all together. This is endangers a child.

Our 5 Step Approach teaches a complete approach to:
Here are the concepts, not the steps:

  • Detect 
  • Deter 
  • De-escalate/Diffuse 
  • Defend (with appropriate force - just enough to escape) 

John Nottingham's BULLY PROOF VEST Bully Solutions and Protection Program

Here is the blog dedicated to the subject of bullying in Arizona. Parents, teachers and children can find information, statistics and resources to arm them with knowledge and techniques to successfully deal with bullying.

Bully Proof Vest - Bully Solutions Workshop
Free Bully / Victim Proofing workshop every Wednesday for this entire month of March at USA Martial Arts Phoenix at Tatum & Greenway in Phoenix/Scottsdale/PV at 5pm on Wednesday nights. To register, simply email info@usa-martialarts.com or call 602-896-8721. It's fully sponsored by Nottingham Sword & Shield Security/ScottdsdaleBodyguard.com and USA Martial Arts Phoenix.

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