CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – As kids around the Capital Region get ready for the first day of school, homework and tests aren’t the only things they’re worried about – they’re also concerned about bullies.
Pai’s Tae Kwon Do in Clifton Park is preparing its students to handle bullies. They’re learning the skills to take down bullies, which is something most kids encounter whether on the bus, in the hallways or online.
Bullying can distract from learning, but getting rid of bullies can be a tough task.
“Not by punching and kicking but by showing confidence,” instructor Jake Allen said.
Allen is a master instructor who teaches kids the one-two combo to stopping a bully without being violent.
Allen teaches kids to first say, ‘Stop. I don’t like that.’ If that doesn’t work, students are encouraged to tell an adult such as a parent, teacher or principal.
Sharon Webster has a child who takes Tae Kwon Do.
“It’s better to walk away,” she said. “It’s better to get ahold of a situation mentally rather than physically.”
Confidence is vital, but so is being polite.
“Listening to your parents, trying your best all the time, and being confident,” Allen said. “We just want to send them back to school with a good feeling.”
Tae Kwon Do teaches the kids how to physically defend themselves, but it also teaches to respect themselves and others.
“What we want to teach our kids is to stop and think before acting,” Webster said.