Taking down the bullies, one jiu-jitsu move at a time...
All Donnan students were extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in Edmonton's renowned bully prevention program, created and run by Curt Malin (Donnan's own grade 5 teacher and Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu professor) and Andrew Gummer (Donnan's second Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu professor, who also has his own dojo).
Professors Malin and Andrew seek to empower students through basic self defense strategies should adult help not be at hand. Students were given specific vocabulary, practiced using their "strong voice", and developed a good, strong, physically defensive base as their primary means of diffusing a threatening situation. Throughout the week, students had a chance to practice this diffusing strategy many, many times. They also learned, that unfortunately, sometimes a bully will not respond to these techniques. Professor Malin and Professor Andrew taught the children a number of basic jiu-jitsu moves to empower them with the ability to defend themselves; students learned how to break a variety of grips (and because jiu-jitsu uses the physics of movement, these grip breaks are effective regardless of the size of the aggressor), and how to immobilize someone with a clinch.
Throughout all of these physical steps, children were given specific vocabulary to use in order to help diffuse the situation. They learned to utilize these specific strategies to stop the aggressor from hurting them, in order to back away safely. This program empowers the students through very specific, non-violent strategies, and they now know how to keep themselves safe should the need ever arise.
The students had a wonderful time with Professor Malin and Professor Andrew. They loved every minute of their time in the dojo, and learned a lot of extremely valuable strategies.