Keweenaw Jiu Jitsu Academy offering free self-defense training to reduce bullying

HOUGHTON — After viewing a recent viral video, a local self defense instructor is taking a stand against bullying and offering victims free self defense training. It was posted just a few days ago, and it’s already had nearly 3 million hits.

The video shows a young boy who’s had enough of being bullied at school, and it has prompted Keweenaw Jiu Jitsu Academy to fight back on his behalf, and on behalf of other kids who are victims of bullying.

“One of the big reasons we kind of started this academy was to allow people to learn self defense in the community,” said Stan Myaskovskiy, the owner of Keweenaw Jiu Jitsu Academy. He teaches individuals how to defend themselves against a bully regardless of his or her size by utilizing deescalation techniques and a non violent approach to an altercation.

“When were talking about a striking based martial art, being the smaller person, you’re at a disadvantage automatically, where this relies on using a lot more leverage and control verses striking which can lead to getting way more hurt,” he added.

Myaskovskiy said that the victims of bullying often times have low self confidence. By building up that self confidence, they learn to use different body language that prevents the recurrence of a bullying situation.

“Anytime that we can help kids that have been bullied or dealing with bullying and help them learn confidence and learn the tools that they need to not get bullied, we want to give them the opportunity to train for free, and, hopefully, allow them to find a happy place here to train,” said Myaskovskiy.

Alec Koski is a 17-year old instructor at the academy who began Jiu Jitsu as a very shy 13 year-old.

“I wasn’t much of a social person I wasn’t great with talking with people, but when you’re kind of simulating fighting with people, you kind of have to communicate with them,” he said.

Koski says that that his involvement with the martial art has been a personal confidence builder.

“I really kind of came out of my shell and I was able to talk to people much better than I was before. I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else,” he said.

If you’re the parent of a bullied child and would like more information, contact the Keweenaw Jiu Jitsu Academy in Houghton by emailing or by calling (906) 239-0543.