Seda comes up with plan to end bullying in Quincy
The playground bully might find him or herself in hot water in the near future, if Jeremy Seda’s wish comes true.
Seda, head of a Quincy-based academy of martial arts, wants to team up with the city to teach children self-defense techniques.
“To teach them not only techniques that keep them out of physical confrontations, but also give them the self-confidence, which is kind of what they are lacking, in order to not be bullied,” said Seda, of Quincy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Seda (pronounced SAY-dah) says that these classes help curtail not just physical but also mental bullying and the slippery slope that bullying sometimes creates.
“Kids that are bullied, it’s pretty easy for them to turn around and become the bully,” Seda said. “That’s one of the things we try to address.”
The instructors, Seda included, discuss not just potential bullying situations but also the feelings that arise from each situation.
“We play off a lot of ‘How does this make you feel?’ Then we say, ‘OK, now stand up for yourself,’ and we try to get them to empathize with somebody else. We say, ‘If you saw this happening, how would you intervene?’ What if it was your friend? We try to get them to understand the situation from as many angles as we can so they don’t become the bully.”
These classes will be available for boys and girls during summer vacation.
With jiu-jitsu, 6 years old is a good starting point, Seda said, but bullying does not occur much at that age. Seda said that from ages 7 on up, “things get a little complicated, especially through middle school.”
Jiu-jitsu does not rely on size advantage or strength advantage. A lot of times bullies pick on children who look like they are meek, Seda said. In jiu-jitsu, the advantage comes from technique, not from being bigger or stronger than someone else.
“We teach them good technique, not just how to get out of a bad situation, a bad place, but how to not get into that bad place in the first place,” Seda said. “A lot of mental self-defense, rather than physical self-defense. I prepare the kids for that situation should they need to physically defend themselves.”
Parents may sign up for this through the Quincy Recreation Department’s website, with dates expected to be posted in the weeks to come.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org