Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gracie Bullyproof

I have been inundated with two major deadlines at work and they've prevented me from doing much else besides train, eat and sleep.

I'm telling you right now-- if you are a parent, or have BJJ friends who are parents, the Gracie Bullyproof series is awesome. I have been steadily watching it as much as I can, when I can, but I haven't written the review yet and I can't figure out how to make screen shots either :)

Here's what the Gracies say about it:

"Bullies have been around since the beginning of civilization, and they aren't going away anytime soon. The U.S. Government's website against bullying provides no sound solution for a child who is targeted by a persistent bully, and the string of highly publicized youth suicides is evidence that the schools cannot be entrusted with your child's safety.

Over the last 85 years our family has successfully bully-proofed tens of thousands of children. And now we've made our complete system available on DVD and in online streaming video format so you can teach your child how to detect, deter, and deal with bullies - all from the comfort of your own home!

With the Gracie Bullyproof system you will empower your child with the verbal strategies to stand up to bullies with unshakable confidence, and a series of non-voilent self-defense techniques to keep them safe if they are physically attacked. Gracie Bullyproof has already been featured on NBC, CNN, and as an effective counter-measure to bullying. The program is engaging, fun, and will ensure that your son or daughter does not have to go through life at the mercy of tormenting bullies."

One thing I really like so far is how well jiu jitsu movements, techniques, and basic philosophy gets worked into the Gracie Games children will love to play. It's like medicine that tastes like candy-- win-win. Check this out:

Buy the instructionals here. You can either get DVDs or you can train your child using the online curriculum. Parents get lessons too, and your child can be promoted using a combination of parent-checked lists and videos sent in for review by the Gracie brothers Ryron and Rener in Torrance, CA.

Here is an example of the parent preparation they provide..

Even a five-year-old can use these techniques (fundamentally the same ones taught in the adult Gracie Combatives series) effectively to defend themselves against older bullies.

So, I promise a real review as soon as I can get it. But it's so close to Christmas, I wanted you to know this is the real deal. It belongs under your tree, menorah, or whatever! :)


slideyfoot said...

I've seen the contents of the first DVD, about parent preparation, which was interesting. I'd love to know what professional educators think about the teaching methodology Rener and Ryron advocate, about never telling anybody they've done any mistakes, and only ever correcting without saying anything other than 'perfect'. It sounds reasonable in principle, but I'd like to see some research to back it up.

I'll also be interested to hear what you think about some of their grander claims, about how Bullyproof will secure the love of your children and keep them away from vices in later life, which seems a bit of an overstatement (then again, I guess marketing is mixed in there too).

Georgette said...

Well... I don't want to spill the beans before I've watched the whole thing, but I will be writing an enthusiastically analytical review :)

slideyfoot said...

Cool. I'll try to contain myself until then, although I do have to ask one other quesiton: did you have a chance to test this out on any kids, to see how they react?

That's the main reason that it hasn't been high on my review to-do list, as given I neither have nor ever want to have any children, it's a little difficult to test the efficacy of the program. ;)

I do have a couple of nieces, but my sister isn't exactly keen on jiu jitsu. Still, Bullyproof does at least provide a handy route if she ever does show some interest in getting her daughters into the sport. I'd definitely be pushing it if I saw them more regularly.

Georgette said...

I don't have kids either, but I am trying to find non-BJJ-exposed children as test dummies :)

SkinnyD said...

I have two kids (4 and 2) and I am really excited about this. I've been searching for ways to secretly teach BJJ to my kids through games. We roughhouse a lot and they're used to rolling around and having pressure on them, but my daughter is getting big enough I could probably start the level 1 stuff with her.

I am with Slidey on wanting to see research to back up some of the claims, but I have read a lot of books on parenting, and they all emphasize how activities like this help children trust their parents and feel secure with themselves. I don't think there's any guarantee that kids won't try drugs and stuff. But I can easily believe that doing these types of activities with kids will lead to greater bonds with their parents, greater comfort level with their own bodies and greater self-identity...all of which lessen the likelihood that the kids will feel the need to experiment with self-destructive vices.

SkinnyD said...

Oh, and BTW, most little kids LOVE this rough and tumble sort of stuff. My kids' favorite thing is to just play around on the floor with dad...jump on me, climb on me, get squished, thrown. I can be (very carefully) "pretend" rough with them and they just eat it up. There is something about getting down and playing with kids physically that just really connects with them. Most kids crave physical and emotional expressions of love and security, and playing with them just like in these examples is a great way to show that.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in seeing how this goes too. I have a 10 year old nephew who is into watching WWE wrestling on TV and I'd like to find a way to channel that interest into jits.

I'll keep an eye out for the full review.


Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Skinny, all my kids love general rough-housing.
I have just purchased this set and started working through it with my 6 and 8 year old boys. They love it. They like sitting down to watch the videos then practicing it on me. My 4 year old daughter drops in occasionally and has a go too. She seems to like it and I like the lack of pressure and focus on fun the Gracies give it. It has prompted me to relax more with them. My 11 year old daughter hasn't joined in yet but I will keep working on her. I'd be intrested in what you think Georgette as I haven't watched any other BJJ instructionals and would like to know how this fits in with others.
Oh, and my 3 older kids go to a general MMA class with my instructor and his kids once a week, so they probably don't qualify as kids that aren't exposed to BJJ.
I hope you don't mind but I thought I would give you some feedback on someone who has started working through it with their kids.

Ray (Blue belt from Aus)

Dev said...

I'm working on a review of Bullyproof as well, and while I understand where you guys are coming from as far as seeing "professional" educators' opinions...

Quite honestly, I'm not convinced there is such as thing as a "professional" educator. I don't remember much of my elementary education, but my 7-year old son is learning a bunch of crap in math right now that I think is asinine. It's not intuitive, it's not easy for ME to explain, and it seems like every other year they redo the methodology based on what "professional" educators think makes more sense to the brain of a kid.

Well, I am a pragmatist. And pragmatically, if something is simple, intuitive, and it WORKS, then I could care less what a professional educator says. The methodology used by the Gracies in Bullyproof is simple, intuitive, and as a purple belt, I can tell you that my 7-year-old is picking up some basic movements for jiu jitsu faster than I've ever seen him learn anything.

The main reason - methodology aside - is that it's FUN. ANyone - kid or adult - is going to learn better if they enjoy something. And the Gracies espouse this concept in the Parent Prep disk.

Here's my own teaser of my review: anyone who's ever considered teaching a kid's class or helping out with one NEEDS to watch the Parent Preparation disk. You don't even need to watch the rest of the series (although it's fantastic). Just the first disk.

So there. :)

slideyfoot said...

Hmm. Although I don't think this is quite what you meant, I'm always very, very wary about the kind of arguments that go "well, it worked for me/this guy I know/my brother's sister-in-law's hairdresser's lawyer's daughter, so I don't care about research." After all, that line of argument is why people get distracted from proper evidence-based medicine into stuff like homeopathy.

Now that you mention it, when I said 'professional educator', I probably should have been more specific and said 'academic research into education' or something like that. As that's what I'm getting at: people with postgraduate qualifications in education from reputable universities conducting serious research into effective pedagogical methods in regards to physical activities for children.

It's similar to the issue I have with the Gracie diet, which as far as I'm aware also doesn't have any academic research by professionals to back it up.

Having said all that, I did like the first DVD from Bullyproof (from what I gather, after the games bit, the rest is basically simplified Gracie Combatives), and it is definitely something I would give a try if I had children. As I don't ever want to be a parent, I'm relying on you guys to use your kids as guinea pigs and report back. ;p

A.D. McClish said...

Oh man. I really want this now. This would be perfect for some of the kids I am working with (including my son!!) Can't wait to hear your full write up!!