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Martial arts expert combats bullying in schools
December 31, 2006
By J. Manny Guendulay
mguendulay@gannett.com

A Mansfield, Louisiana martial artist and instructor Robert May is looking forward to working with area students as he visits schools with a new class on dealing with bullies in the school and work environment.

"I'm really excited to bring these ideas about bullying to the classroom," he said. "Bullying is a reality in life. Eighty-five percent of children are either bullied or are bullies themselves."

May said a bully-buster program can change a problem at a school because it builds awareness of what bullying actually does to people.

"The program builds self-discipline and confidence," he said. "The classes also hit home to children with behavioral problems because it makes them aware of their own actions."

May also is considering teaching the program to adults as well because he says bullying continues in the workplace, too.

May first became involved in martial arts at college in 1972 where he began studying shotokan karate. He then became interested in the kicks and style of tae kwon do. He now teaches tae kwon do and combat hapkido, a self-defense art, at Fitness First in Mansfield.

One thing he's noticed about all martial arts classes is the amount of discipline found in all of them.

May expects to give his first class to fifth-graders at Converse Elementary School in January after the students return from their Christmas break.

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