What’s the latest anti-bullying trend? Giving kids the confidence – and the tools - to stand up to bullies, and defend themselves if necessary.

Experts say that most bullying happens in the 4th through 8th grades, but can continue through high school. More than 150,000 kids miss school every day because they’re afraid of being bullied. And victims often get bad grades, become depressed, and are even suicidal.

Now there’s a new “Bullyproof” program developed by the Gracie family, who developed Brazilian jiu-jitsu 100 years ago, and created TV’s Ultimate Fighting Championships. Jiu-jitsu is a strategic method of self-defense that uses leverage and holds that can neutralize a bigger, stronger opponent. And the program teaches kids the 3 “T” steps necessary to face down a bully:

#1: TALK to them and ask them to leave you alone.

#2: TELL the teacher and a parent that the bully won’t stop, even after you’ve talked to them.
And the final “T”: As a last resort, TACKLE the bully and use jiu-jitsu to gain control of them without resorting to punches or kicks.

One 12-year-old we read about had been bullied for years, and was afraid to go to school. He took the “Bullyproof” course. At school, a much larger boy kept hitting him with fists and water bottles, and wouldn’t stop when asked. The boy finally knocked the bully over, and pinned him down, knees on his chest, until he promised to stop bothering him.

If you’d like find out more – or find a certified jiu-jitsu center in your area - check out the website GracieKids.com.

But what do you think about this method? Is it the best way to deal with bullying? Weigh in at 866-865-TESH, or leave a comment on my Facebook page. That’s Facebook.com/ JohnTesh.