Based out of Yuma, Arizona, Bully Rehab Awareness Gym founder Carlos Flores personally experienced both sides of the bullying epidemic. Fueled by his experiences as a youth and former mixed martial artist, he decided to use martial arts as a way of reforming kids subjected to bullying.
By rehabilitating bullies and instilling confidence in those subjected to bullying, BRAG aims to take a stand against the harmful effects of bullying, which can even lead to suicide.
Welcome BRAG Supporters
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.
Bullying is one of the most common and problematic issues plaguing schools worldwide. According to stopbullying.gov:
- 28% of middle and high school students were victims of bullying
- 20% of high school students in the US were victims of bullying
- 30% of younger people admitted to bullying others
- only 20-30% of those reported being bullied to an adult.
Flores himself recounted his experience of being bullied at the hands of gang members, and also had difficulty telling his father, who was a professional boxer.
One day, he was hit from behind and it caused a hairline fracture in his jaw, and when his father demanded to know why he wasn’t informed, Carlos realized that many kids were put in the very same situation, unable to tell anyone about what happened. Whether due to fear of reprisal or lack of courage, he realized that those who are bullied are often unable to report or deal with the aftereffects of being bullied, often becoming bullies themselves in a vicious cycle.
Carlos fell victim to this cycle as he began to bully others as a junior high wrestler after earlier being bullied himself.
“Battered and Bullied No More”
These were many of the catalysts that led him to establishing BRAG. By training the bullied in martial arts, much-needed strength and confidence become part of a new sense of identity. For bullies, disciplines such as judo teach self-respect and honor, enhancing self-esteem and the desire to treat others with respect.
At one point, Flores lost his building and didn’t have a place for kids to train. He made a social media post reaching out for help and was answered by a man named Frank Carrillo, who agreed to provide assistance in establishing a martial arts center for Carlos and the kids.
The Frank Carrillo Memorial Obstacle Course
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.
The show decided to build The Frank Carrillo Memorial Obstacle Course in honor of Carlos’s dedication to help reduce bullying in the community. Large cooling units were also installed to lower the building’s boiling hot temperatures.
Your contribution will ensure that BRAG continues its operations and empowers kids that are bullied with a sense of pride and new-found confidence, while fostering discipline and self-control and introspection in bullies. Your contributions will help maintain the Bully Rehab Awareness Gym and provide a haven for community kids to learn and be inspired thorough martial arts discipline and training.
Help continue their progress and ensure that youth in YUMA have a place to call a second home on their journey of self-discovery and rehabilitation.
Make sure that the YUMA kids are “Battered and Bullied No More.”