Last Updated on August 3, 2022.
From : TSMMA Cherry Hill
Two years ago our 11 year old son Johno was in sixth grade standing about 5’8″ tall and weighing about 200 lbs. We always taught our children to respect others. We hadn’t known that the entire sixth grade year Johno was being bullied by a couple kids half his size. Johno didn’t know how to handle what had been going on with the name calling and harassment, so he just keep it to him self.
Two days from the end of that school year at the lunch table where the usual bullying had started, Johno had enough and finally spoke up and said something back to the kid bullying him. The bully in return stepped up the abuse and took his first physical action against Johno and punched him. Johno had taken the verbal abuse all year but being punch was past his natural limit. Johno punched the kid back but at twice the size, Johno’s power and weight were to much for most 11 year old boys and the kid ended up on the ground crying. They were both suspended for the last two days of school. I asked Johno, “why didn’t you just grab the kid and call for the teacher?”.
Well that’s when we found out he was being bullied all year. That night I called TSMMA Cherry Hill and spoke with Sensei Shane Baker. We made an appointment for a free trial class two days later. That first night while Johno took the class I looked at the pictures and articles on the wall. Many featuring Master Schulmann himself and a few others. One in particular caught my eye with a head line saying “How to defend yourself in the street and not end up in front of the judge”. The very thing I wished Johno could do just a few days ago, protect himself and not get in trouble for doing it. Well needless to say Johno absolutely loved the class. So we signed him up.
Two months after signing Johno up we found out that he was pre diabetic. At 5’8″ tall and 200 lbs he was over weight for a grown man his size, let alone an 11 year old boy. We as a family with the help of doctors from CHOP and TSMMA Cherry Hill learned how to make better choices when it came to eating. Two years later, Johno is 13 years old 5’10” tall and about 165 lbs, the scare of diabetes is gone. As for the bullying, well I asked a few of his teachers at parent teacher conferences how Johno was doing socially. He is in accelerated programs and his grades are great. But Johno being a naturally quiet kid, I wanted to know how he was doing socially. His math teacher told me ”I wish I could tell you bullying doesn’t occur in school but it does. Johno is not a kid who gets bullied, he’s respected by his peers and has no problems with the trouble makers in school “.
Two years later and Johno is exceeding at every thing he does. Johno has won a 2nd Place trophy at NAGA battle at the beach and a 3rd place at NAGA Philly. Johno has won two 1st Place trophies at the Challenge of Champions. Sensei Alexander trained Johno for the first year and a half and Sensei Baker has trained Johno for last 8 months. Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts Cherry Hill has become a second family and at an hour away also a second home for our family. Thank you so very much to the entire TSMMA organization.
Thank you to Sensei Alexander who really helped Johno learn how to have the confidence to defend himself. A very special thank you to Sensei Baker, who now trains Johno, but who is responsible for making TSMMA Cherry Hill a true family.