Bullying can lead to serious injuries and cause psychological and emotional problems. It is an issue plaguing schools and communities in the United States and around the world. Not enough is being done to curb this activity which harms not just individuals but the well-being of society at large. Bully Rehab and Awareness Gym in Yuma, Arizona is trying to change that.
In his quest to address this phenomenon, Carlos Flores, a former mixed martial artist, based in Yuma Arizona, founded Bully Rehab Awareness Gym, or BRAG. This is a non-profit organization that seeks to reform bullies and help victims regain confidence.
As a place for personal transformation this life-changing venue is helping many students and young people in the community. It is a safe and friendly environment for kids to develop both physical strength and mental focus as they learn to channel their energies in positive ways.
A holistic approach is adopted, with martial arts training along with meditative practices. Those engaged in these programs develop combat skills as well as self-restraint and deeper respect for members of their community and beyond.
Carlos grew up in a state of constant dread because he was bullied by others in his community. Perhaps it is ironic then, that as he got older, he found himself turning into the sort of person he feared as a child. Having lived through the whole “victim turns into abuser” cycle, he decided to confront his demons by resolving to help as many people as possible.
Bully Rehab Awareness Gym’s Mission
BRAG’s mission is to utilize mixed-martial arts training and meditation to make available various tools for self –defense while teaching self-respect to children on both sides of the bullying spectrum. With the addition of an obstacle course training area, BRAG offers Judo, boxing, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The health benefits become evident as participants get a whole body workout and increase not just their confidence, but their overall fitness and well-being.
Featuring judo, boxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as an obstacle course training area, BRAG’s mission revolves around utilizing martial arts to teach discipline and self-respect to the many kids who are on both ends of the bullying spectrum
Flores recalled his experience of being bullied at the hands of gang members and how he had such difficulty telling his father, who happened to be a professional boxer.
Research has shown that only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied notify adults about the bullying. The reasons for the low figure can be attributed to lack of courage and fear of retaliation. The bottled emotions have a scarring affect, often leading to a vicious cycle, where the victim ends up becoming the perpetrator of the act. Breaking this cycle is the motivating driving force behind the establishment of BRAG.
The day came when he was attacked from behind causing a hairline fracture in his jaw. His father was pained by the incident and demanded to know why he was never told. This is when Carlos realized he was not alone. He began to understand that the issue of bullying was spreading like a plague in society and countless children were too shaken or simply unable to share and express their trauma with others who could help.
The Frank Carrillo Memorial Obstacle Course
There came a time when Flores was unable to keep the building and hence was unable to provide kids with a suitable training place. He reached on social media looking for support. The call was answered by Frank Carrillo, who agreed to help him establish a martial arts training center for Carlos and his young clients.
The obstacle course aims to address the bullying side. It teaches bullies to find inner-strength and channel it positively in ways that are constructive and meaningful. It helps them understand themselves and their own behavior. It redirects them towards a life of greater discipline and helps them identify with their own emotions as well as the feelings of others. This obstacle course was built in honor of Frank Carrillo and his timeless contribution.
Carlos had purchased all the equipment himself until he was featured on “Returning the Favor”, a show hosted by Mike Row that showcases individuals who have made a deep and positive impact on their community and society at large. The Frank Carrillo Memorial Obstacle Course was built in honor of Carlos’ anti-bullying program and activities.
Built in honor of Carlos’s mentor, Frank Carrillo, this obstacle course teaches bullies to tap into their inner strength and learn discipline. All the gym equipment was originally purchased by Carlos himself, until he was featured on the show “Returning the Favor,” a show hosted by Mike Rowe that spotlights individuals providing major social impact on behalf of the community.
Save One Child at a Time
By supporting Bully Rehab Awareness Gym you make a strong statement against bullying.
Donations will help the organization continue its operations and empower more kids. The idea is to instill greater confidence in victims and inculcate discipline and introspection in bullies.
Contributions will help preserve the Bully Rehab Awareness Gym and allow for more community kids to acquire new skills and be inspired thorough mixed martial arts training. Your help will ensure the continuity of this effective anti-bullying cause which is giving many children a new chance at life.