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Martial arts school offers anti-bullying program as part of regular curriculum

Tae kwon do can enhance self esteem and improve physical and mental strength. Combined with the anti-bullying Peace2U program, Full Force TKD, Inc. is reaching kids and helping them to overcome bullying.

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A 12-month battle with brain cancer drastically changed the life of Uhrichsville resident Eric Cox. Unable to work while being treated with chemotherapy, Cox made it his mission to stay focused and use his time wisely. What transpired over the course of his treatment and recovery would benefit others in a meaningful way through the non-profit Full Force TKD, Inc.

The New Philadelphia tae kwon do school Full Force Tae Kwon Do & MMA Fit already had a reputation for helping kids and adults achieve success through a positive program that allows students to build skill, strength and self-esteem. Owner Scott Jarvis, along with Cox, formed a partnership with Peace2U, a national anti-bullying, character and leadership program they have been able to bring to local schools, youth groups, and even their own tae kwon do classes in an effort to prevent bullying.

The Peace2U: Three-Phase Bullying Solution is a compassionate and original approach to bullying prevention designed to proactively prevent the incidence of bullying behavior by empowering educators, parents and students to be accountable for creating and sustaining a safe school climate through effective leadership, social responsibility, supportive relationships, interpersonal skills and building internal assets and intrapersonal skills.

Authored by Frank DiLallo, the prevention/intervention schools consultant for the Toledo Diocese where he works with 68 different schools in 19 counties across Ohio, Peace2U is published by the Alliance for Catholic Education Press at Notre Dame.

Cox first became familiar with Full Force and Jarvis when he enrolled his then nine-year old son in classes in an effort to increase his confidence and as a way for him to express his frustrations in a healthy manner. “My wife and I were getting divorced and he took it very badly,” said Cox. “Tae kwon do helped him and I saw the benefit almost immediately. While I was unable to work, I did a lot of research and learned about the Peace2U program.”

When Cox brought the Peace2U program to Jarvis, both agreed it could only benefit the current Full Force students. “After we implemented the program in the tae kwon do classes, we saw immediate results,” said Cox. “We have since taken the program into schools and held an anti–bullying summer camp for a group of boys last summer with amazing results. We will have a summer camp for girls as well. When you listen closely, kids will tell you everything, and some of what they tell us is incredible and heart breaking. Kids today have a lot of issues we didn’t have when we were young.”

Cox describes how the very meaning of bullying has changed in the last generation. “When I was a kid, I was always the smallest one,” said Cox. “Sure I got picked on but I didn’t let it bother me. I was confident and I just moved forward. Kids today have a terrible time with social status that we never had before. There is such a fine line as to what bullying is. This program teaches responsibility and deals with mental and emotional self-defense that empowers kids and adults as well.”

Full Force TKD, Inc. would like to see their program implemented in more schools to further combat bullying. “We are seeing it work with our students,” said Cox. “The biggest praise we get is how much the kids improve at home.”

For more information about Full Force TKD, Inc. Peace2U, call 330-343-8219.

Published: November 8, 2013
New Article ID: 2013711089970