Local Braselton, GA Business Tackles Bullying

Posted October 22, 2019 by andreeaLegacyMMA

Parents in Barrow, Gwinnett, and Jackson counties in Georgia have a new resource to tackle bullying.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—BRASELTON, GA— Legacy MMA, a premier after school karate academy and mixed martial arts club in Georgia opened a new location in Braselton, Ga with a focus on teaching students how to handle bullying. At the beginning of every school year, one common thought runs through the minds of minds of parents. Bullying. The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that over 282,000 students report being physically bullied every month. 90% of students report they’ve experienced some form of bullying and over 70.6% of students have witnessed bullying and say it’s a problem at their school.

“Those numbers are far too high,” says Legacy MMA owner Dustin Chovonic.

Nation Education Association further reports that 160K students refuse to go to school because they fear getting bullied and 10% of students drop out of school.

A local Braselton business aims to make an impact for local students. Legacy MMA opened its doors off of Highway 211 and Thompson Mill Road, not far from the North East Georgia Media Medical Center and Chateau Elan at the end of May. Tom Sommerville teaches students from Gum Springs, Duncan Creek, West Jackson, and Bramlett Elementary schools not only karate and MMA, but also techniques to protect themselves in bullying situations.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at Sommerville, but he says he was bullied as a kid too until he started studying martial arts. He’s partnered with his brother (Chovonic) to empower students against bullying in Barrow and Jackson Counties.

“If I can reach one kid—just one student and give him or her the resources and knowledge and technique to defend him or herself, I’ve done my job,” says Sommerville.

Sommerville incorporates a lesson of the week. These lessons aren’t just martial arts lessons; they are life lessons.

“Our students learn more than just how to do karate,” says Chovonic. “They learn how to better their lives and the lives of those around them. We help the whole child—mind, body, and spirit.”

And often times, it’s the spirit of these students that gets broken first. Sommerville’s students recite the Kenpo Creed before each class.

"I come to you with only Karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands.”

They learn karate curriculum that all Legacy MMA students learn and then self-defense via MMA techniques. Each class ends with a self-defense lesson. Students are encouraged to stand up to bullies not only for themselves, but also for others.

“This isn’t your average karate program,” says Claudia Townsend, a Legacy MMA parent. “My son was bullied and had terrible self-esteem. He spent this past summer with Mr. Sommerville and still trains under him. His confidence is up, and he told me he’s already used what he learned in class to stop a bully.”

“Our students look forward to practicing self-defense at the end of each class,” says Chovonic. “It’s fun, but it’s also applicable in real life. We know we’re doing a good job when they come to us with smiles on their faces and tell us how they stopped a bully that day.”

Sommerville and all Legacy MMA instructors teach students when and how to use what they’ve learned in class. Scenarios on the playground, in class, and outside of school are talked about. Students learn to how to defend themselves in each of those environments.

“We tackle bullying in two ways,” continues Chovonic. “We empower students who are experiencing bullying, but we also work with students with behavior struggles who do the bullying.”

Dustin Chovonic opened Legacy MMA over 20 years ago in Georgia. He has a 6th degree American Kenpo Karate black belt and is a professional MMA fighter. Chovonic represented the United States Karate Olympic team from 1997 to 1999. He’s the 2000 National Karate Champion and a Georgia and Florida State champion. His love of martial arts started at the age of 4 and shares it with his students daily.

Tom Sommerville started training in American Kenpo Karate when he was 11 years old. He went pro at the age of 18. His extensive 33-year career includes owning a martial arts school in Florida for over 30 years. He founded Florida Sport Karate Association, Gator National World Karate, and Kratos World Karate Championship. He’s trained State, National, World, and Olympic karate champions. He comes to Legacy MMA with a desire to continue working with students to empower and change their lives, especially those who experience bullying.

About Legacy MMA
Legacy MMA is a premier after school karate program located at 6323 Grand Hickory Drive Suite 300 in Braselton, GA. After school pick up is available at Bramlett, Gum Springs, West Jackson, and Duncan Elementary schools.
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Contact Email [email protected]
Issued By Andreea Cojocariu
Phone (678) 541 5254
Business Address 6323 Grand Hickory Drive Suite 300, Braselton, GA 30517
Country United States
Categories Consumer
Tags after school program , children , after school karate , bullying
Last Updated October 22, 2019