High Point, NC -- It's back to school week in the Triad. Although it's an exciting time for some children, it also means others will have to face the bullies they've avoided all summer. Most children have been taught traditional techniques and ideas on how to deal with bullying: walk away, tell a teacher or don't fight back.
However, one Triad Martial Arts studio has a different approach: teach kids martial arts so they can learn the skills to defend themselves if they're in danger.
"I think it's a big issue in the schools right now. You see it every day in society and social media and everywhere," Sherry Hill, a grandmother, said.
Walker Dennis has been taking martial arts classes for the past year. "I used to be shy, but now I feel more social," he said.
Walker's mother says the skills and techniques he's mastering have boosted his confidence.
"I don't look at it as being violent. I look at it as him being able to protect himself from other people that might be violent," Shannon Dennis said.
Tiger Rock Martial Arts Studio owner Steve Snyder doesn't want his students to get violent.
"There are certain physical barriers they can use - putting their hands up, using their voice," Snyder said.
But, if a child gets attacked, Snyder says there may not be enough time to wait for an adult to respond.
"In case there's a physical altercation, we want them to be physically agile and have the skills necessary to get away from the situation," he said.
Even though martial arts classes might look aggressive, Snyder says the theory behind them is based on emotional and intellectual strength.
"It focuses around empowering kids anHid helping them with their self esteem and self confidence," he said.
On Saturday, August 31, Snyder is offering a free "Back to School Bully Defense Clinic." Call ahead to register - (336) 869-8399.
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (6-10 year olds)
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. (11-15 year olds)
Location: Tiger Rock Martial Arts, 3755 Admiral Drive #104, High Point, NC 27265