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By Nicole Pence

GREENWOOD — Back to school is a stressful time for parents and children, especially when talking about bullying.

Mark Kruezman is the owner of Life Systems Martial Arts in Greenwood.  Kruezman’s studio is participating in the “Done with Bullying” campaign. 

According to the website, 28 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 18 are bullied each year.

“Martial Arts builds confidence, self-esteem, self-assurance, and self-respect. When a student has those skills it will build confidence. They will have a better chance when confronted by a bully,” said Mark Kreuzman.

Ethan Srichareon started taking classes after he was bullied during recess.

“Being a really smart kid in class, I got bullied a lot, made fun of… basically, it’s given me a lot of confidence, and I stand up to bullies and help other kids in my school,” explained Srichareon.

IMPD Officer Paul Suiters’ daughter, Tiffany, is enrolled in the martial arts classes. Suiters’ says the classes are teaching his daughter common sense before self-defense.

“The trick is not teaching how to use martial arts. It’s about how to use mental defense before self-defense. I am observing a lot of children becoming leaders,” said Officer Suiters.

Life Systems Martial Arts will host free “Done with Bullying” workshops on August 16.

Spots can be reserved by calling Life Systems Martial Arts.