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Tag: bullying

From The Sandlot to the Schoolyard: My Experience With Bullying and Learning to Fight Back

By Wil Horneff

My name is Wil Horneff. I’m a black belt in BJJ and an instructor at Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA in Westwood, NJ. My biggest claim to fame was being the bully ‘Phillips’ in the classic film The Sandlot. At the age of 35, I can safely say that I have been told through the years that I “play ball like a girl!!!” more times than any other man alive. Unfortunately, this accusation is undeniably true. In the 8th grade, I stood an impressive four foot eleven inches tall and was always the last kid picked for teams; it just went without saying.

So it was ironic that in the Sandlot I was supposed to be a badass baseball player (and the team captain, no less).

But what’s a child actor doing talking about baseball on an MMA website? I’ll get to that in a second.

As a kid doing his first film, everything about The Sandlot was incredible and it’s hard not to look back on it with a bit of nostalgia. The lot itself was nestled behind houses in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was there for about 2 weeks for shooting and even though I had a smaller role, I hung out with the sandlot kids as one of the gang. In real life, everyone seemed pretty true to the characters they played in the film which is one of the strategies for casting kids. However, leaving the set and going back to real life was always a let down because when I left the set the real life bullying would resume.

Bullying is a hot topic nowadays. On the one hand, even the smallest slight can summon accusations of bullying, as was the case with a student who attended my Jiu-Jitsu school. The child did not want to invite a particular student to his birthday party and the uninvited child’s parents accused them of bullying their child by not inviting them. These days, bullying not only includes sins of commission but omission as well, apparently. On the other hand, you have California mayor Cameron Hamilton saying that kids who are bullied need to simply “grow a pair.” There is a ditch on either side of the road and keeping oneself on level ground is not always an easy task.

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Bucket Lists and Bully Beatdowns: Two Feel Good MMA Stories That Are Sure to Warm Your Black Heart

True story: The last time I traveled home to Upstate NY was a few months ago. While out at one of the only two bars that exist in my podunk town, I bumped into a high school buddy of mine who had moved to Washington D.C some years ago. I asked him how he was doing, and after a very, very, shockingly brief conversation, he informed me that he had testicular cancer that had spread to his stomach.

I stood there in shock for a moment, wondering if he simply remembered my dark sense of humor and was merely screwing with me, before offering my response. What I said I cannot recall, due in part to the combination of shock and grain alcohol running through my system (mostly shock). Long story short, he underwent surgery and chemotherapy shortly thereafter, and yesterday, informed us all that he was officially cancer-free. I was relieved to say the least.

That’s perhaps the craziest thing about cancer; despite nearly all of us knowing someone whose life has been claimed by it, we always assume that it won’t get us until the end, if at all. So a story like that of Jake Stoneking, a 19-year-old from West Linn, Oregon battling a rare form of brain cancer (medulloblastoma) is rarely one that falls on deaf ears for obvious reasons. ABC News ran one such story yesterday, and focused on a bucket list Stoneking had put together in light of his fatal diagnosis.

When he unveiled that his #2 wish was to attend a UFC event (second only to “visit a local West Linn topless bar.” Awesome), the UFC kindly obliged him.

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Martial Arts Fail of the Week: Defeat Bullies by Slapping Their Balls (We’re Not Kidding)


(If you wear socks like the male instructor, you will ALWAYS be bullied)

Ever been bullied?

If so, how did you stop your grade-school foes? Did you beat them up with a hat? Stymie them with thousands of spaz punches? Use the force?

What about slapping them in the nuts? What, you’ve never done that!? According to this week’s martial arts fail, that’s one of the key techniques in the fight against bullying.

Seriously, you need to watch this video. Here’s just a short highlight reel of what it includes:

-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
-The defense for the all-too-powerful “you’ve got something on your shirt” maneuver.
-”Stun techniques and dirty tricks.”
-Pulling someones hair and then doing absolutely nothing to follow it up.
-Groin-slapping.
-Throwing candy in someone’s face as a self-defense move (I wish I was making this part up).

Please watch the video, it’ll be worth it. We promise. This is the exact kind of horrific, “self-defense” advice that Ben Goldstein and I sought to destroy when we were storming dojos back in the 90s, testing our SAFTA. But as we got up there in years, we decided to purge martial chicanery with articles on a middling MMA website rather than with our fists.

Enjoy!

Thanks to CagePotato reader James Hays for sending us this video. If you see any video that’s good (or bad) enough to make the cut, let us know! Send it to tips@cagepotato.com

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UFC Holds ‘Community Works’ Event in Toronto for Youth and Reveal Plans to Implement Anti-Bullying Program in Canada


(Video courtesy of YouTube/ BlahBlahBlah2145)

While in attendance at the UFC press conference in which the promotion announced announced that it would be making it’s long-awaited debut in Ontario last year, I asked the company’s newly-appointed Canadian director of operations, Tom Wright, whether or not there were plans to implement any community-based programs such as in-school anti-bullying initiatives. Although it was early in his tenure, Wright told me that it was definitely something that they would be looking at and that programs such as these were some of the most rewarding he experienced as the head of the Canadian Football League Commissioner.

It’s been 19 months since Wright was hired and Zuffa announced this week that it’s planning on working with local schools in the Greater Toronto Area, where it’s Canadian branch is located, to implement a mentoring program for youth who have experienced bullying. Though it’s too early to tell, there are indications that a regular stream of fighters could speak to Toronto kids about their own experiences with bullying as youth, teachers and parents and if all goes well, it could become a implemented in schools across the country.

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Frank Shamrock Started a Charity Because He Was Made A Victim of Cyber Bullying… BY DANA WHITE LAST MONTH!!


(Video courtesy YouTube/TheFrankShamrock)

Before you ask, the video above is not a leaked sketch from next month’s MMA Awards. Frank Shamrock really started an anti-bullying organization after some trolls on the Internet hurt his 37-year-old feelings recently. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning bullying in any way shape or form. I used to work doing PR for an anti-bullying program that is recognized as part of grade school curriculums. I just think this thing reeks of being opportunistic. Maybe Frank saw the attention that Daniel Puder’s anti-bullying crusade has gotten him and decided to hop on the bus.

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