INDIANAPOLIS — Even though he’s long since graduated from high school and college, Jordan Brown says he still remembers seeing classmates become victims of harassment and even physical violence for no reason at all.
Brown, now 27 and now a resident of Plainfield, is doing what he can to see that others don’t have the same memories.
He opened a martial arts facility on the westside of Indianapolis called The Way. This past Saturday he held the club’s first ever Bullying Prevention Seminar in conjunction with Angels and Doves, a nationwide bullying prevention awareness group.
Brown earned his first black belt in karate at the age of 13. He’s been practicing martial arts for 16 years and has been teaching for 14.
He wants his dojo to be about more than just teaching martial arts. He’s hoping to help students gather self confidence.
“Bullying is something that’s running really rampant in schools,” he said. “You don’t realize how much bullying is going on, the mental and social aspects of it, and now cyber bullying as well. I don’t even think kids realize it’s bullying all the time. Sometimes if you just poke at someone or say something you don’t realize, it’s tormenting that other person.”
Brown said he routinely hears from parents who have trouble dealing with children bullying each other in school.
“When I was in high school and younger, I didn’t have an issue with bullying since I’d been doing martial arts since 11,” Brown said. “It gives you a confidence you can’t get anywhere else where you’re comfortable with who you are, what you know, and what you do. Whether you’re being antagonized or someone’s trying to abuse you, there’s a problem in that the weaker person often doesn’t have the confidence.