By Nancy Edwards
A new martial arts center is teaching kids how to avoid being victims of bullying and predators.
PRO Martial Arts, located at 8962 E. 96th St., opened its doors to the public on Nov. 17. The grand opening gave attendees an introduction to learn about the types of classes the center provides and an opportunity for kids to practice some new skills such as board-breaking.
Jason Pulliam, owner of PRO Martial Arts, said he and his wife were looking to open a business in the local area and decided to open a martial arts center. “Once we started learning about this (business opportunity) we thought this could do really well for kids.”
The PRO Martial Arts Armor program offers 12 weekly lessons on bullying prevention and 12 separate lessons on predator prevention.
“Three out of four kids have witnessed bullying or have been bullied,” Pulliam said.
The bullying prevention program teaches students how to recognize bullies and avoid become a victim, how they can increase their self-confidence, set and respect personal boundaries and to be assertive when asking for help. In addition, students will learn the characteristics of bullying, red flags to look for, and how to avoid cyberbullying.
Pulliam said that he is seeing an increased level of cyberbullying.
The predator prevention program teaches students about the importance of listening to their instincts, how to look for strange and inappropriate behavior in adults, and why they should always tell a trusted adult how they feel. In addition, they are taught about good communication skills between parents and children and online safety and rules for families.
Martial arts defensive skills are taught as a last resort for victims of bullying.
Grandmaster Ed Samane, CEO of PRO Martial Arts, said that the most precious aspect of what is taught in the Armor program is building up a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
All instructors teaching classes have seventh- to eighth-degree blackbelts. Adult classes currently offered include fitness kickboxing and karate. The center is also open to adding a yoga class if there is enough interest in the community. The curriculum of Korean arts includes Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido.
For more information about the center or to schedule a class, call 913-9139 or go online to promartialarts.com/fishers.