Marrying into the legendary family of martial artists, I witnessed first-hand the amazing impact that jiu-jitsu had on people of all ages, but especially children. Gracie University has an incredible curriculum for children called "Gracie Bullyproof." Over three generations, it has proven to build confidence, teach critical boundary setting skills, and prepare a child to safely defend themselves if physically attacked.
Through the Bullyproof program, countless children have bloomed into confident and socially intelligent individuals.
Once I became a mother, I realized two imperfections…
1) At most schools, jiu-jitsu classes do not start until 5 years old, because that’s the average minimum age requirement for children to effectively learn self-defense in a group environment.
2) There are hardly any books that helped children navigate the emotions and challenges associated with bullying.
I realized we were missing some of the most formative years of a child’s passion towards learning and understanding their body limits and capabilities. I became passionate about instilling compassionate communication, strong boundaries and emotional intelligence through one of the best ways children learn, storytelling.
Eager to give my daughters the earliest and healthiest introduction to jiu-jitsu, and all the essential skills it teaches, I embarked on the journey to write the world's first children's book based entirely on the self-defense principles of jiu-jitsu as taught in the Gracie Bullyproof program.
And just like that, Kip and the Magical Beltwas born - an engaging story about a young boy named Kip and the difficulties he must overcome in his dealings with Rhino, the intimidating school bully. Ultimately, Kip learns jiu-jitsu from the Magical Belt, practices the techniques with his bear, Bubba, and successfully stands up for himself at school!
Like any story, it’s more enjoyable when you can live it. With that in mind, you can also have Bubba the bear in your living room for the enjoyment of the story, but also to train the techniques, just like Kip!
By the time your child is 5 years old, and understands the principles of the techniques, they will be ready to transition into the Gracie Bullyproof training at any Certified Training Center around the world or via the online video curriculum at GracieUniversity.com. Best of all, once they begin formal classes, they will have the connection to their magical belt and look forward to the day that it evolves to yellow.
My sincere hope is that families use this story as a tool to discuss complex subjects like bullying and boundary setting while having fun and connecting with each other. It is a dream to help others find their best selves by first believing in their own magic.
A confident child is a Bullyproof child, and it's never too early to begin building confidence.