Bullies of the Highlands beware, one martial arts dojo is offering free lessons to bully victims.
Trying to erase bullying, Moss Vale Martial Arts owner Steve Reeks is offering to teach kids how to defend themselves and build their confidence with a months free training.
The idea came from within the martial arts community, but the want to help kids defend themselves from bullies started for Steve when he was in school.
"The idea initially came form another martial arts instructor," Steve said.
"He's an instructor from Newcastle and has a variety of gyms. It a great way to get the word out about the bussiness. But for the most part, martial arts has had a big impact on my life.
"My last name is Reeks. Imagine going through high school with that as your last name and the dramas I used to have.
"So in my situation, with a last name like that, you tend to get picked on and I'm pretty small. But then I started boxing.
"The problems disappeared rather quickly after that. Now, I didn't have to physically do anything it was the way I conducted myself after taking boxing.
"It's not just the verbal skills of telling a bully to go away or leave me alone, it's about saying it in such a way that when you do have to say it and then have to defend yourself, you can protect yourself better then anyone else.
"That's essentially my experience in school, and the rest of my school days were filled with love, peace and happiness (laughs)."
Bullying isn't a black and white situation. Many factors go into the situation and sometimes it's not as it appears.
"Often the kids that are bullied, are bullies themselves," Steve said.
"It's a two pronged thing. If I can get a kid into the gym, I can tell in a couple of seconds whether they are a bully or being bullied.
"I had a bunch of kids come in and they were both bullying each other. I had phone calls from parents and the kids were in tears. When they came in I squashed it with one talking too.
"I can help them with both being bullied or they are bullying.
"The kids who are doing the bullying don't realise that one day, someone will stand up to them and won't allow them to bully them.
"I have a 13 year old girl in the class and she flogs every single one of the boys. I have 65 kids in the program. That gives a lot of them a reality check and reminds them to be on their best behaviour.
"Martial arts has a very humbling reality to it."
Steve has a goal each year he would like to accomplish, but that can only work if parents take that first step to help their child defend themselves.
"My goal is to get 100 kids into the classes each year," Steve said.
"If I can train that many per year for five to ten years, that's a large number of kids I've made a positive impact on. They'll be better community members, confident and most importantly, nice people.
Martial arts has a very humbling reality to it.Steve Reeks
"There will always be bullies, but you can help yourself not to be a victim in life."
The offer for free lessons was for the month of June, it maybe towards the end of June but Steve will honour a months worth of lessons to help out kids suffering a hard time at school.
If you would like to contact Steve about lessons, please ring: 0428 897 651.
You can also visit: https://www.facebook.com/mossvalemartialarts/.