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Kids tackle bullying by learning jiu jitsu

The kids say it's helped them build confidence.

SAN ANTONIO -- Kids at a local martial arts school are learning how to tackle bullying by building self-confidence.

The Ohana Academy in Stone Oak is teaching them the martial art and combat sport of jiu jitsu.

They’re learning self-defense and also building their confidence.

"We get them to start exercising their potential and all of the sudden they realize ‘Wow. I can do this. I'm strong,’" said owner and instructor Jason Yerrington.

Yerrington says the training has become invaluable for students, especially when facing bullies at school.

“It has taught me to have more courage,” said 8-year-old Kaleb Smith.

Smith says bullies try to bother him, but he just brushes them off.

“It has shown me that I shouldn't be as scared of them,” he said.

10-year-old Tristan Martell says jiu jitsu helped him too when bullies tried to corner him on a playground.

“The kid was like ‘OK. I’m not messing with you,’ and I stopped those bullies from bullying anyone at school,” he said.

Yerrington says by empowering, validating, and encouraging kids, they build self-esteem.

He'll be teaching this to kids and parents during an end bullying seminar at the dojo.

“Through their experiences here they start to find out ‘Man this is not too important. ‘This is not too big. I could take that kid down.’ Their confidence starts to grow and they start to see themselves in a totally different light,” Yerrington said.

The end bullying seminar will be Saturday at 1pm at the Ohana Academy Stone Oak location at 166 N Loop 1604 E #202, San Antonio, TX 78232.

It is free and open to the public.

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