Mission Bully Proof


D.A.R.E interview with Shihan Jim Chillemi: Anti-bullying Activist
By Sam Schoenfarber

Jim Chillemi is a 6th degree black belt who works as Shihan at NYGKA. As a student at NYGKA it was of course an honor to interview the teacher of the teachers who teach me. When you step into NYGKA you can tell that it’s a safe environment were you are allowed to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. NYGKA’s anti bullying program, Mission Bully Proof, has helped me and other students learn how to not only learn martial arts skills to protect ourselves, but also verbal things like saying “back off” in our first kata basic fighting form. Also how to make yourself look and feel confident so you can assertively stop a fight from happening. I think that the new anti-bullying curriculum is an amazing aspect of our dojo. Before Mission Bully Proof, I got bullied at camp and I didn’t know what to do, but now I know how to assertively stop these conflicts from happening. I also know that simply telling an adult that you trust can help you cope and find ways to deal with a bully. So it is my privilege to now have you read my interview with Shihan Jim Chillemi!

Q: How long have you been an anti-bullying activist?

A: We started Mission Bully Proof 2 years ago as curriculum at NYGKA. I have had the privilege to teach people of all ages self defense for over 40 years.

Q: What made you become interested in anti-bullying?

A: Well, bullying has become a huge social issue and as a self-defense expert I want to help as many people as possible as soon as possible.

Q: Have you ever been in a bullying situation yourself?

A: Yes I have. When I was younger a bully approached me and I had absolutely no choice but to fight back. The bully never approached me physically again.

Q: Do you ever need to use your karate outside of the dojo other then when you are practicing?

A: Yes, every day. Respect is a major aspect of martial arts and in reality is a very important aspect in life. If you respect others you will be respected, but even if you are respectful to others you should always be conscious of your surroundings and your environment.

Q: How can marital arts help deal with bullying and how can learning martial arts help you learn how to stand up to a bully?

A: Martial arts teaches you that there are two ways to approach a bully, aggressively and assertively. Yet if you have the choice to act assertively you should always, always be assertive! Also, when standing up to a bully you should always have correct posture to show the bully that you are confident to potentially emasculate them. By doing that you can assertively prevent a fight from happening. Martial arts can also make you stronger physically and mentally. When standing up to a bully you should try to your best power to escape harms way.