My Troop attended the “Bullyproof Program” at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu…and yours should, too.

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By Andrea Hecht, Leader of Troop 774

As a leader, I am always looking for fun activities that will keep our Cadettes (middle school girls) interested in Girl Scouts.  

We have an active and tight-knit troop.  The girls are involved in dance, soccer, softball, water polo, cheerleading, gymnastics, etc.  So I am always challenged to find a date and an activity that will peak their interest.

Four of the girls have been in the troop since they were Daisies.  We’ve added a few new girls each year.

Self Defense is a life skill and potentially life saving.  This is something that I would like my own daughter and son to know.  So, when Adrienne at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu offered this experience to our girls, I was excited.  

Seven of our eleven girls were able to participate.  I knew this would be a great experience, but I did not expect to learn as much as I did, or that it would elicit so many different emotions.  The instructors were both very large men standing taller than six feet tall.  The first thing they told us was that abductions usually occur in less than five seconds.  That is when it hit me, that this is real, that this could happen, this does happen.  As I watched the girls I could see fear.  Some were scared to try their newly learned skills with the instructors who were also strangers.  

I also saw empowerment.  Some of the girls felt empowered by learning to escape from and knock down someone who was almost twice their size. The girls encouraged each other.  They worked together and supported each other while trying new moves.  

Overall it was a successful event and an unforgettable experience.  I would definitely consider enrolling both of my children . . . and maybe even myself!


The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Bullyproof Program 

Every month in the United States three million children miss school due to fear of bullies, but the Girl Scouts in Troop 774 won’t be part of the statistic.

Troop 774 had a blast learning basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques and confidence-building skills at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Palm Desert studio. The goal: to overcome bullies without violence.

The class was part of the studio’s Bullyproof Program For Kids, teaching young people to use verbal assertiveness to deter bullies and several non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe if physically assaulted.

IMG_8241Using a three-pronged approach, the Gracie Bullyproof Program “increased awareness, unshakable confidence and total responsibility” in the girls to help them recognize harassment in many forms and emphasize respect for others.

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