CHESAPEAKE, VA (WVEC-TV) -- Troy Ingram is concerned about bullying.
"It's a serious problem," he said.
And now, he's trying to empower kids to have the confidence to stand up to bullies and to defend themselves if they're ever in a situation when they have to.
Troy is helping to teach kids jiu-jitsu at Hampton Roads Karate on South Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake. His class is called "Gracie BullyProof".
He teaches them how to have courage to stand up to bullies verbally and with confidence to try and talk the bully down from becoming violent. If that's unsuccessful, he teaches the kids moves that can get them out of a physical altercation.
"Once the confidence is there they stand up for themselves," Troy said. "Stop the bullying before it snowballs out of control."
He's proud of what he does because he feels like he's making a positive difference in the kids' lives. Stories from students like Liberty confirm that for him. Liberty confronted a bully at school who was picking on one of her friends.
"I looked at the bully in the eye and I said don't call her that again and they said I can break your neck off in so many ways -- I mean -- your back," Liberty said. "And I said I'm still not scared of you and she said I was being sarcastic and she left her alone and after that my friend told a teacher."
Liberty credits the care Troy shows for her and her classmates at Hampton Roads Karate.
"If you talked to my 3rd grade year-old self I would be very shy and scared most of the time for standing up for myself," Liberty said. "I think he is one of the best teachers I've ever had."
© 2018 WVEC-TV