Points to Consider When Dealing with a Bully

If there is one thing I simply detest, that is prevalent in our society, is bullying.  Yes, I know, bullying is the ‘buzz’ word these days and has been for years, and I don’t like to give it, in and of itself a platform.

However it must be addressed, and it needs to be addressed in a deeper manner than what we are seeing in our society and in our school systems.  The Proverbial “Bullying Must Be Stopped”, is simply not enough and I hope to dig deeper into this problem that covers ‘Bullying’ from my perspective.

With that said, let me explain, I am not a Doctor, I am not a Psychologist, and I don’t claim to be an ‘expert’ into the inner workings of what’s going on in the mind of a bully.  The psychology of it all is far beyond the scope of my expertise, my training, and my experience.  However, having seen and experienced dozens and dozens of bullying situations, having children who have been bullied, and having been bullied myself as a child; along with being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, teaching kids full time for over 12 years, along with my studies in the subject, puts this subject right in my wheel house to have open dialogue.

If I were a psychologist, or a psychiatrist I would be able to dig into the problem at the core level of what’s going on in the mind of a ‘bully’.  I’d have facts and figures, data, history, white papers, and a litany of why’s and how’s related to people who bully others.  But I’m an MBA, a former corporate executive, a former City Councilman, and now full time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, who has dealt with kids in my school for many years who have been bullied in one way or another.  My own children have been bullied, and yes, as I child I was bullied myself.  And yes, I experienced some corporate bullying along the way as well. Not fun, but a reality in our world.

In this particular article, I’m going to approach bullying ‘in general’.  And from a children’s stand point I will deal with “physical” bullying.    I’m going to set the groundwork on other ways of bullying, like cyber bullying, emotional bullying, verbal bullying, etc. Let’s use today’s note as a start to digging deeper into these subjects in future articles.

To understand what we are dealing with, lets first define the problem:




gerund or present participle: bullying

  1. 1.use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

"a local man was bullied into helping them"

synonyms:persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate,strong-arm, dominate

Wow, just reading the definition just pisses me off!  Persecute, oppress, tyrannize, harass, browbeat…….
It just oozes of problems!

In my ‘tips’ to dealing with the epidemic of Bullying, I will be quoting, or sharing information from a myriad of sources, like: Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and/or www.GracieAcademy.com, the NRA’s “Refuse to be a Victim®” program,  Steve Kardian’s “Girl’s on Guard” program, Rigan Machado Jiu-Jitsu®, and many more sources that I will mention in this and future articles.

As mentioned, I’m not going to drill down into the psyche of the bully, but I am going to label them as what I believe they are, a predator. 




  1. 1.1.

an animal that naturally preys on others.

Is that harsh?  I don’t think so.  A human who persecutes others, is a predator, and they need to be dealt with as such.

People who look to the ‘easy target’ to attack someone in any way, shape or form, are predators.  In Steve Kardian’s Girls on Guard Program, he shares that, in this case sexual predators are looking for a“soft target’”, and he teaches women how to be “hard targets”.  He teaches how to carry oneself with confidence, recognize predatory behavior and not allow the predator to have the ‘opportunity’ to attack them.

In my articles, I am dealing STRICTLY with CHILDREN who are being bullied.  I will use the same verbiage with the bully that Steve Kardian uses in his Girls on Guard Program (which I highly recommend to ladies of all ages!).  Bullies are looking for “soft” targets, to ‘persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong arm or dominate’, in a variety of ways. We can address the bullying predator the same way Steve Kardian does.  Recognize the behavior, not allow the opportunity, and if ‘bullied’, deal with it accordingly.

With this said, I believe the first step in dealing with a bully, is looking at ourselves.  Not that it’s our fault that we are being bullied, but that we need to carry ourselves as “hard targets”.  You may be thinking, how is that done? 

I believe it can be done by acknowledging the fact……’yes I am being bullied’,
and, developing a confidence to deal with it.  And then actually dealing with it.

HOW do I deal with the bully?

The 3 T’s of Dealing with a Bully

I learned about the 3 T’s of dealing with a bully by observing a video on line by Rener and Ryron Gracie from the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. (www.gracieacademy.com)  They are the grandsons of the legendary Grandmaster of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Helio Gracie.  The Gracie story is incredible, and it is a must read for all. 

There 3 T’s is a great way to teach kids to deal with bullies of all types with the first two T’s, and physical bullying that would include all 3 T’s.  A short synopsis of the three T’s is:


The first T is Talk to the bully.  This is where you tell the bully that they are not allowed to treat them in that manner.  That in no uncertain terms that it is not acceptable for them to treat you in that manner.


Tell someone in a position of authority what is happening.  This could be a teacher at school, a coach, your parents.  This brings an adult into the situation that might be able to assist the child, and address the bully in a manner that may stop the ‘predatory’ behavior.

The first two T’s might have a positive effect and the bullying might stop.  If it doesn’t, and the bullying is in a physical manner, I believe you must stand up for yourself.  Rather than get be up by an aggressor, we recommend the 3rdT…….which is:


Yes, tackle the bully. The beauty of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is that it doesn’t matter how big or fast or strong you are; as you can use your leverage, timing, and technique to neutralize an opponent, or a bully.  Take a bully to the ground, and know what to do when you get there is an amazing way to control the bully, and then ‘negotiate’ just how far this altercation needs to go.  Gain position, control the position, and negotiate.  No punches thrown, no kicks, and the bully/predator/coward is neutralized.

This may sound overly simplistic, and just reading it probably is.  I highly recommend that if this article has struck a chord that you look into The Gracie Bully Proof Program and www.gracieacademy.com, and perhaps look into a local school that teaches Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for kids, and enroll your child in their program.
It’s a great way to deal with a problem that is all too prevalent in our society.

My next article will be specific techniques that I use in my school for children to address being physically bullied.

Train Hard.  Train Smart.  Train for LIFE!

“Bullying: Thew Buzz Word of our Times”

Points to Consider When Dealing with a Bully

Professor Larry Shealy, BS, MBA
Rigan Machado Black Belt Instructor
Founder, Kid-Jitsu®

PS:  I have no monetary relationship with anyone I mention in my articles.  I simply share information with you that I use, and that I believe in.