ELDERSBURG, Md. (WJZ) — A group of disabled teens in Carroll County is using martial arts skills to help other teens who may be bullied at school.
As Gigi Barnett explains, the teens say learning to stand up for themselves has other benefits as well.
Brian Nobles, 18, learned self-defense back in elementary school. A bully was targeting Brian and his twin brother, Bob. After demonstrating their martial arts move on each other, the bully went away.
This weekend, the brothers–who are autistic–are using their skills to help other disabled teens protect themselves.
“People with these type of disabilities tend to get bullied a lot and that’s what I don’t like,” said Brian Nobles.
So Brian created Kick Out Bullying. It’s a three-hour martial arts marathon at the United Hapkido Studio in Eldersburg. It’s also a way to get teens with disabilities like his to meet up through a program Brian started called Disability Express.
“Brian has said on many, many occasions when he sees a case of it on TV, he says, ‘They should put some sort of law in effect at that school to help those kids. That’s why I’m doing this group, too, to give them a place to go,'” said Bob Nobles, Brian’s father.
There is a law against bullying in Maryland now, particularly cyberbullying. It’s named after 15-year-old Grace McComas, who killed herself after being bullied online.
Brian’s instructor says the Kick Out is for would-be bullies, as well.
“Maybe they’ll think twice about saying something rude or laughing with their friends if their friends say something like that. And they’ll have a reference point and maybe they’ll stand up and not do it,” said martial arts instructor Chris Shirey.
All of the money raised through this weekend’s event will go toward the Disability Express. That group will then partner with a middle school where they’ll start anti-bullying programs.