Local boxer helps kids stand up to bullies

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

SHERMAN, TX-StopBullying.gov shows 17% of students nationwide are bullied. But, a local boxer is stepping up to help fight the trend.
Alex Lopez has been teaching boxing to area kids for several years so they will learn how to fight, but also to stand up for themselves when facing a bully. One of his students tells us how the class has made a difference.
Eleven year old, Jonathan Harden has been taking boxing class at Fight Time Fitness in Sherman since February because he's been bullied at school many times.

"So that people at school wont be a jerk to me whenever I come around and stuff," he said.

His mother, Jennifer Harden, said kids pick on Jonathan because he's one of the shortest in 5th grade.

"He's always had people picking on him, calling him names, shrimp, shorty, things like that. I'm thinking this will actually help his self confidence," she said.

"A lot of times the kids that come into the class have low self-esteem."

Boxing instructor, Alex Lopez, have been teaching area kids for three years to defend themselves improving their boxing technique and sparring. He said confidence is key when standing up to a bully.

"What we try to teach them here is that we want them to just build their self confidence. And the way I can do that is by teaching them how to be confident in themselves if you're in good shape and also promote that you can feel good with your well being," he said.

But he said fighting is still not the answer.

"What I try to teach kids here is that you can only do so much with your fists but you want to try and use as much as you can with your brain and communication skills," Lopez said.

Jonathan said he has learned a lot in the class.

"How to punch, kick, move when people are trying to punch you in the face," he said.

Harden said she has seen a difference in her son's behavior.

"It's a slow process, but you know, he can walk in and hold his head up high and not actually feel like 'aww, everyone's picking on me' and things of that nature," she said.

Lopez added that keeping kids busy after school and during the summer can help keep them out of trouble.
Fight Time Fitness offers boxing class Tuesdays and Thursdays for kids of any age.

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  • by Ha Location: Ardmore on May 11, 2012 at 11:25 PM
    Fighting solves everything. So glad to be out of southern Oklahoma and your silly conservative ways. Join us in the 21st century. Hillbillies.
  • by Johnson on May 11, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    Yes, bullying is a big problem. Just ask Mitt Romney.
    • reply
      by An Observer on May 12, 2012 at 06:08 AM in reply to Johnson
      Right. He should not be allowed to run for president because he may have bullied someone 50 years ago. Thank God the liberal press is 'covering' these ultra important issues. This one really changed my entire view on the presidential election. I guess I have to go with Obama now since he is perfect and Romney may have possibly done this in high school 50 years ago!
  • by Mark Washburn Location: Sherman on May 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM
    Learn self defence but be non-violent,not a smart mouth or bragger. Live peaceable lives and when all else fails, defend yourself. One bully getting his or her just due prevents bullying. Schools punish bullies not the kid defending themselves. Bullying will end when we stand and say no more and back it up.
  • by proud parent Location: sherman on May 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    My child had problems just like that and the teachers would not do a single thing. His grades dropped as well as his good hearted nature. He has attened Fight Time Fitness for the past 7 months and what a change. We got our son back. Plus he has won several tournaments. The family atmosphere and the positive coaching makes him feel like part of the team. HIs self esteem and self worth have never been better. I was inspired by his improvement and now I too am a member and have lost 15 lbs! Our family is much happier, healthier, and safer . I incourage anyone looking to get in better shape to serioulsy try a class. It will change your life.
  • by Anonymous on May 11, 2012 at 09:12 AM
    There were some girls in Piner Middle School who thought it was fun to shove my daughter around until she got tired of it and gave the leader a nice roundhouse kick in her stomach. She had just earned her green belt. They didn't bother her any longer.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM in reply to
      That is the point of most of these comments! Be nice and respectful of other - until you can't anymore!! Then, take care of the problem like your daughter did. Problem solved!
  • by Anonymous on May 11, 2012 at 05:38 AM
    It could be that we have been working so hard to turn boys into compliant little sissies that the bullies have free reign whereas in the past there were other boys around to put them in their place. Don't fight, go tell someone! This is just one of the unpleasant ramifications of feminizing society that's been going on for the last half century. Welcome to life in a nanny state where you surrender your lives to a authorities who haven't the competence to take care of every issue in your personal life but insists that you can't take care of them yourself.
    • reply
      by Exactly... on May 11, 2012 at 07:48 AM in reply to
      Society as a whole would be a lot nicer to each other if they knew there was a real possibility that the person you're picking on or being rude to might punch you in the face. I was raised to treat people with respect but at the same time stick up for myself if the situation dictated it. I was never bullied by anyone because I wasn't an easy target. I've taught my kids the same thing and let them know that if they get in trouble for sticking up for themselves they definitely won't be in trouble at home and that the school can't really do anything to them of any significance as punishment. This worked out perfectly when my oldest son was getting picked on, pushed, kicked etc and the teachers wouldn't do anything. I told him to hit the kid in the face the next time and that is exactly what ended the problem. Society can attempt to feminize my kids but fortunately I'm not going to let that happen.
    • reply
      by Pinko on May 11, 2012 at 02:17 PM in reply to
      I bet my dad can beat up your dad.
  • by Joseph Location: Denison on May 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
    I'm sorry but you also need to get with the parents of the bullies and the bullies themselves to also help straighten this out. Most parents don't today don't seem to care what or how their child behaves. I witnessed a mother of a young lady take her daughter to fight another girl, all over a BOY. WTH! What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with people today, is that their parents were/are not involved enough in their child's school, friends and even their life. Some kids may bully because some of their friends do it. Children should be taught by their "PARENTS FIRST", then their school, church or local Boy's and Girl's Clubs or the like. I see home schooled children becoming more and more popular. I mean really, why do we need to teach them to socialize? That they should learn on their own with guidance, because we all are different people, with different desires, needs and wants. We must learn to be empathic about others.
    • reply
      by Old School on May 11, 2012 at 05:43 AM in reply to Joseph
      The parents are indeed the problem nowadays Joseph. Our society, in all of its infinite wisdom, has scrapped the values that most of us were taught and decided that everyone has to be a winner, there are no losers, taught our kids that nothing is their fault, it's always someone else's fault, and so forth. This is conservatism giving way to liberalism and the world we see now is the result of that. This is why kids are living at home unilt they're 40, why they won't work, believe they deserve everything handed to them, etc. Our current president panders to this crowd - anything to keep his gold mine producing. remember this in November. We have got to change our direction or we are sunk!
      • reply
        by Agreed! on May 11, 2012 at 08:29 AM in reply to Old School
        Old School, I couldn't agree with you more. This whole "entitlement" mindset that people have, especially the younger generation, has gotten waaay out of control.
        • reply
          by old school entitlement on May 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM in reply to Agreed!
          There is no bigger entitlement mindset than the seniors today. They taught the rest of us well. They paid into SS and Medicare, used the money to pay for the government they voted for and now expect the next generation to pay them back! They paid it in, it's theirs! It's as if I put money into a retirement account, borrowed the money to buy a boat and now expect my kids to put their money into the account when I decide I want it. How entitled can you get?
      • reply
        by My Gosh . . . on May 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM in reply to Old School
        . . . .you are a fool.
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