It has been a while since I have blogged here on my bully blog, and like most things in life, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to get back up in the saddle again once you have gotten off your perverbal horse. So with that being said, I am going to try to get back to the blogging, no only for myself, but for my growing list of followers. I think that with anytime you are trying to get back on to doing something, you need to start small, and you need to believe in yourself.

image002Which brings me to my topic of today. Believe in yourself. In Karate there a set of “Codes of Conduct” that build the foundation for everything, and “Believe in Yourself” is at the top of the list.

CODE 1 Believe In Yourself : I shall not use the use the word CAN’T at any time. I shall always believe in myself and in my abilities. I know I can accomplish anything I want to do. Whatever my mind can CONCEIVE and BELIEVE, it can ACHIEVE.

Seems simple enough right? But sometimes it is not. The daily list that seems to grow sometimes makes us forget the small victories that are happening every day. The day to day grind at work, and not hitting set numbers, or contracts falling through, distorts focus on what you have not done, or seemed to have failed at. Believing in yourself is a crucial tool to enable your successes to shine through. Confidence is a byproduct of believing in yourself and the more confident we are, the more we will achieve. Teaching karate I have seen thousands of cases of “self doubt” that can simply be overcome with a little “I can do” attitude. I believe with children, the course is easier to change, as sometimes all they need is a little positive reinforcement, or a little praise, and confidence seems to hit the system like a sugar filled cup of cool-aid hits the blood stream. As we grow older, we find ourselves in fewer situations that foster and promote encouragement. It seems that we end up in environments that assume we already have the confidence, or that we have the pedigree to be expected to get the job done. Fewer support groups can fit in a cubicle, and less group activities seem to fit in the always busy schedule.

Don’t forget that you are your own teacher, support group, fan, and instructor. When you are feeling down, or need a boost, tell yourslef to believe in yourself, and let it hit your bloodstream to deliver that little boost to help you achieve what it is you believe you can do!

For me, I just got through my first blog in a long time…just now… ha… and am now recalling the number of times that I wanted to write, but didn’t for the number of reasons I used as excuses. The is power in going back to the basics, and believing in yourself is about as basic as it gets.

Find something you have been putting off, support your thoughts by believing you can do it, and go give it a try!




Bullying typically involves others besides the tormentor and his or her target, and numerous peers are often aware of the bullying, and they must choose how to respond. The choice comes down to playing one of three roles: perpetrator, bystander, or upstander. I am a believer in the power of developing kids to understand what it means to be an upstander and I believe that we need to eliminate the role of the “Bystander” altogether.

To more clearly define the roles to be discussed: • Perpetrators join in the bullying, escalate the harassment, or initiate new attacks on the target later.

  • Bystanders attempt to remain uninvolved in the situation, often by looking on silently or finding an excuse to walk away.
  • Upstanders take action to oppose the bullying in some way. They might intervene directly and tell the tormentors to stop, but they need not put themselves at risk in order to be helpful. Upstanders might also respond in other ways such as making friends with the targeted student or seeking help from adults.
  • Most students in a classroom or school do not bully others regularly and are not victimized by bullies, but that does not stop bullying from happening. A common misconception about these student ‘bystanders’ though, is that they typically remain neutral or try to support the victim when they see bullying occurring. Unfortunately, the truth is that students who observe bullying are much more likely to encourage or assist the bully than to attempt to help the victim!

Furthermore, in situations in which a group of students is bullying a child, bystanders may actively join in by taunting, teasing, or ostracizing the victim. Teachers are often surprised when they see a group of otherwise-friendly children egging on a bully or engaging in bullying behaviors themselves. One explanation for why bystanders may cross the line to help bullies is that, as part of a group, bystanders may feel less accountable for their individual actions.  Another possibility is that bystanders feel justified in bullying the victim because they have come to believe that he or she ‘deserves’ such treatment.

Holding upstanders accountable for their behavior in bullying situations, reinforcing that they are the first line of defense, allows them to have positive direction in knowing how to get involved. Oftentimes children are not sure what to do in the moment they see bullying, and sometimes doing nothing is the easiest answer. I teach kids to learn what different situations they may encounter and then help them to role play to learn what the different options are. Seeing mock bullying, and then being able to discuss what the best actions are to take, allows children to respond instead of react when it really counts.

In and out of school, I encourage adults to facilitate group activities to encourage bystanders to develop positive relationships with potential victims, increasing the chances that they will be upstanders if a bullying situation arises.

Here are simple ideas for working with kids to become upstanders:

  • Ensure that they understand the definition of “Bullying.” Children may not always know when their behavior crosses the line and becomes bullying.
  • Create shared expectations for appropriate conduct and to build a common understanding of what behaviors should be defined as bullying.
  • Create a shared definition for bullying with the class or with siblings by having them identify behaviors that are ‘bullying’ behaviors. List these behaviors on the board or somewhere in the house. If students focus only on examples of direct bullying, remind them not to overlook indirect bullying (e.g., gossip, excluding others from a group).Tell children that when you see examples of bullying occurring, you plan to intervene to keep the classroom and home a safe and friendly place for everyone.

With appropriate instruction and guidance bystanders can be empowered to take an active role in preventing bullying from occurring and to report bullying to adults when it does take place, becoming upstanders. To ‘win over’ bystanders to make them upstanders (what I would consider bully-prevention agents), the teacher and adults can make bystanders aware that their own behavior can encourage or discourage bullying, letting them know that they can and should become upstanders.

By teaching tools and phrases that upstanders can use to intervene when they witness bullying, my workshop gives practical concepts to help kids understand the role and importance of being an upstander. Building this role up as one of a leader, friend, and hero, I believe that we can make it “cool” for kids to be upstanders, and build an army to disengage bullying before it starts.


The OC Register has a group of writers that cater towards “OC Moms” and though I am not a mom by a long shot, I still enjoy reading their articles. One that Jo Ashline wrote takes a crack at discussing the difference between the perceived notion of bullying in the media, in contrast with the harsh reality that many kids face, and points to a very interesting and often used statistic from the National Educational Association. I want to explore a new way to look at this statistic.

It is interesting to think of the scene that’s played out in hundreds of television and movie scripts over the years: a helpless, scrawny kid gets teased relentlessly by an overgrown underachiever, after which a montage set to inspirational music of the victimized protagonist learning some sweet self-defense moves flashes across the screen. Eventually our young character feels confident enough to stand up to the mean kid, able to resolve the conflict with a heartfelt speech about acceptance and a PG-rated joke at the bully’s expense. The bully sulks off in defeat and the young boy is applauded as a hero, his newfound fame among his peers a symbol of his courageous plight. As Jo points out, unfortunately, for approximately one in four school-aged children across the nation, the reality of bullying is far more devastatingly complicated.

According to the National Education Association, it’s estimated that over 160,000 children refuse to go to school each day due to the fear associated with being bullied; that’s nearly 15 percent of all kids enrolled in school across the nation.

I have seen this statistic used in many articles and blogs about school bullying. It is quite powerful when looking at a snapshot of the nation and the effect bullying has on schools. One Hundred and sixty thousand kids, really? Let’s put that in perspective by seeing how many times over these children would fill up the Staples Center in LA. For basketball, the capacity is 19,079; for hockey it is 18,118. For concerts and other special events, the capacity nears 20,000 guests, depending on the set-up of the event, so let’s assume 20,000 to be conservative. So every day, imagine 8 Staple Centers filled to max capacity with “bully bait.”

These kids will end up going back to school, only to let the next shift of kids making excuses or faking being sick to take their seat in one of the virtual seats in one of the hypothetical 8 Staple Centers. One backlash that may not be so apparent is the amount of money that the schools are losing in state funding. Schools are paid per kid from the state based on Average Daily Attendance. The state evaluates attendance by taking an average of students over a period of time, and based on enrollment, and school size, the accounting of lost funding to the school is approximately $40 dollars a day per kid. Sow think of each parent who’s kid who is avoiding school, attending one of the hypothetical 8 Staples Centers, as having to pay $40 dollars back to the schools to counterbalance the loss created. That is a staggering $6.4 million dollars that schools are losing every day. It is no wonder that there is a push from Michelle Obama, all the way to each school’s PTA, to take steps to make kids feel safe at school. There is no one solution, or magic pill that can be distributed, but instead the practical solution is small steps at local levels, and involvement of parents, students, and teachers alike to educate, communicate, and work collectively. I believe that efforts like our Free Bully Buster OC Workshop, are key building blocks to help stop bullying before it starts.


As a kid’s martial arts instructor,  I’ve seen some incredible things, and kids seem to always shed light into the pure human condition.  I’ve seen kids who couldn’t sit still for 30 seconds learn to stay calm and relaxed for HOURS.   I’ve seen kids who are used to F’s, take pride in seeking straight A’s from the discipline they got from martial arts.  But recently, this past Friday at a belt test, I saw something that just stopped me in my tracks.

I saw a six-year old get his yellow belt (that’s the second belt in the ranking system).  After he put it on, he looked over at his other classmates and around the room, and everyone was cheering.  The atmosphere was very positive, and there were many proud parents.  I’m pretty sure that he felt like he’d just climbed Mt. Everest, and then he looked over in my direction.   And I caught his eye, and then saw him look down to and back up at my eyes, and when they returned, I knew what he was looking at.  He was looking at my black belt, and the look in his eyes showed me that he would do whatever it took to get his own black belt someday.  His eyes told me that he got a taste of what it felt like to reach his goal of getting his next belt, and I realized that that six-year old learned something most people never do in their whole lives: how to set a goal, and go for it with everything you’ve got.  So when I say martial arts are about more than self-defense, this is a great example what I’m talking about.

Sometimes Kids just need some purpose to seek, to make them feel like they are part of something, and Karate can create this environment and sense of purpose.  Kids who are home playing video games by themselves, I believe are too far removed from interaction that will teach them crucial interpersonal skills, and limits the opportunity for goal setting and achieving.  Those kids who have a good group of friends are less likely to be singled out and be targets of bullies, and this support group is inherent in a Karate class.  I know that when I was bullied, martial arts gave me an avenue to express my anger in a positive way, and it gave me the same fire in my eyes that I saw from the new Yellow belt.  I followed my drive to get my black belt, and have confidence that he will too.

Orange County Ride for AIDS Smartphone app offers registration, convenient donation feature, and organized access to all that is the OC Ride for AIDS    

Laguna Niguel, California, October 11, 2012Iconosys, Inc., a leading mobile safety Smartphone application developer based in Orange County, CA, has finished development of a convenient new Smartphone app for the AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF). The app was designed for the Orange County Ride for AIDS (OCRA) in order to give app users access to better and more convenient tools for registering for, donating to, and supporting the efforts of this well-known and important event.

This year’s third annual OCRA is positioned to be the largest and most successful event yet. ASF’s OCRA event raised just under two hundred thousand from donations collected in the past two years.  The 2012 goal is to raise two hundred thousand dollars. In 2011, more than 115 people participated in the bike ride to help raise funds to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the lives of men women and children in Orange County affected by HIV/AIDS.  This year more than 140 riders have already registered and donations are being accepted.

This year’s OC Ride for AIDS event is scheduled on October 13, 2012 starting and finishing at the Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, CA. Corporate sponsors include Iconosys, Bully Buster USA™, Monster Offers, Casa Laguna Inn & Spa,Shopoff Group,  EuroPapi, Greenlight Financial Services , Juice It Up!, Shell Vacation Club,, Union Bank Foundation, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Equinox and Wells Fargo Bank.

Ryan Foland, COO of Iconosys Quote:

In this, the 3rd year of the OC Ride for AIDS we are very proud and honored to be able to align ourselves with such a worthy cause!  We are confident that our app, with year-round usability, will be a hit with the event attendees, and will be appreciated and enjoyed by the thousands of people that support this organization.”

Orange County Ride for AIDS 2012 App Features are set to include:

  • Access to register yourself or your team for participation in Orange County Ride for AIDS 2012 in Laguna Beach
  • An easy-to-use donation option that allows you to conveniently make donations to support OCRA, at any time of the year and with the push of a button on your Smartphone or smart device
  • Picture With – a feature allowing you to take custom framed photos at the event (Android only)
  • Virtual Booth – Allowing vendors to have a virtual presence on each of the attendees phones, including a vendor/sponsor directory
  • Inside the app access to up-to-date news and information on the foundation’s works and successes, all year long
  • Access to the ASF website, as well as its Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, all in one place
  • OCRA Catch – A fun new game where you can help to raise virtual money by catching falling money, making sure to avoid falling hazards (iPhone only)


The App is available for Android OS and iOS phones.  The app can be downloaded from from ASF’s website, as well as from the Iconosys website and Facebook pages, the Adshark™ AppHysteria™ App Store, the Android Market, GetJar, the Amazon appStore, and the Barnes & Noble Online marketplace, and iTunes.

The Orange County Ride for AIDS is a newer HIV/AIDS fundraiser that is gaining popularity and exposure through grass root and viral efforts. Launching this new fundraiser in 2010, ASF is the organizer for the event.

Funds raised at the annual ride support essential programs and care offered by ASF to thousands of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS in Orange County. Services provided through AFS include food, housing, transportation, case management, mental health counseling, family and children’s programs, HIV testing and prevention education, and support groups.

ASF is very happy to be working again with our friends at Iconosys,” commented Philip Yaegar, Executive Director, CEO, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County.The increased awareness they’ve brought to our cause through the development and promotion of the AIDS Walk Orange County app, and now the OC Ride for AIDS app, is immeasurable and greatly appreciated.

A new addition to this year’s event is the inclusion of the TextKills® Bus at the finish line. The wrapped RV is a not-for-profit, outreach program founded in 2010 by Iconosys and its executives to take the message of distracted driving and cyber-bullying to schools and events around the country in an effort to raise awareness of the risks associated with these addictive behaviors. Recently joining forces with Bully Buster USA™ in 2012, the Text Kills® Bus has taken a stance on the use of texting to bully.


The TextKills® bus regularly partners with law enforcement, fire and safety authorities, schools, and local cities/communities in an effort to keep people thinking about the risks that cell phones can pose when used while driving or when used to bully, and OCRA feels that having the bus is a great fit for the event.

By signing the Text Kills Bus, we ask concerned citizens to do everything they can to refrain from texting and/or talking on the phone behind the wheel, and ask them to make a pledge to not be a bully,” added Ryan Foland, Iconosys COO and founder of Bully Buster USA™. “Cyber-bullying greatly affects the LGTB community and texting while driving poses a great danger to road bikers; we are excited to spread awareness of both these issues at this year’s event.”

You can show your support for the event and its causes by coming down to sign the Text Kills® bus, or you can even sign the bus online at and get a copy of your signature sent to you (as it appears on the bus).

For more information about the event, see the Orange County Ride for AIDS website


To Sponsor Orange County Ride for AIDS, please contact:

Verlaine Crawford, Director of Corporate Development, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County at (949) 809-8761 or email at


About AIDS Services Foundation Orange County

AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF) was founded 26 years ago at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic by a small, dedicated group of community volunteers to provide support to their friends and loved ones who were dying of AIDS and in desperate need of help.

Over the years, ASF has served over 75% of the individuals affected by HIV/AIDS in Orange County and has evolved into the most comprehensive and experienced nonprofit HIV/AIDS service agency in Orange County, CA.  ASF’s staff of more than 50 people reflects the communities served – more than 25% identify themselves as Latino and bilingual in Spanish.  ASF is governed by an all-volunteer-member board of directors who are leaders in the community. Over 600 volunteers gave over 26,000 hours of their time last year – the equivalent of more than 12 full-time employees. Among the volunteers are people living with HIV/AIDS, whose very personal understanding of this disease further enhances the agency’s ability to serve its clients.

About Iconosys, Inc.

Iconosys, a member of the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the maker of the widely used and well-publicized Word Bully, Guard’s Up!™, LatchKey Kid™, My Max Speed™, and Trick or Tracker Smartphone apps, is developing technologies and technology driven products for its clients with a goal toward designing apps that enrich, enhance, and ultimately make safer, our day-to-day lives. Iconosys has developed event apps for events like the OC Walk for AIDS, AIDS Walk LB, Long Beach Marathon, and may more.

Iconosys develops Apps and technologies for iOS and Android OS Smartphones and tablet computers. See a cross section of some of Iconosys’ catalog of nearly 700 Smart device apps from your Smartphone browser:, and from your computer browser:

 Press Contact: AIDS Services Foundation Orange County

Marc Montminy, Director of Communications and Public Relations

Direct:  949-809-8766

ASF Office:  949-809-5700

While this is a very delicate topic, bullying in the workplace is not a rare thing and, for some people, it can be something that leaves definite scars on one’s personality. When a person is a bully starting with his childhood period, he will most likely be a bully for the rest of his life. This means that he will continuously try to impose and force his opinion and point of view on the others around him, including his co-workers.

There are several tactics for bullying in the workplace and verbal abuse is probably the most frequent form of them all. Humiliation is also quite frequent, as is psychological and sometimes non-verbal abuse. Fortunately, bullying in the workplace can be reported and measures can be imposed by the management team. Unfortunately, in some cases, the victim cannot prove that the bully verbally abused him.

People can be bullied by the people they work with and even by their superiors. There are many cases when employees are pointed at for not accomplishing certain tasks. In cases of bullying, employees are deliberately given tasks they are unable to complete because they lack the resources, they are given tasks above their level of understanding or they are given humiliating tasks. Such behaviors are considered an abuse of power. But that is not all. Bullying can also be caused by intolerance: people  are not accepted by the team or because they have minor handicaps or the others simply dislike them. In happier cases, these people don’t turn into victims, they are just ignored. But there are cases when they are turned into victims of discrimination when it comes to a promotion or getting some bonuses, rewards and recognition.

People with aggressive behavior are generally unsure of themselves; they are not very sociable and quite incapable to empathize with others. They turn this insecurity into the need to push others around and they find it satisfactory to attack and belittle those around them. The victims are prone to unjustified comments and are being held responsible for even the slightest error. Bullies at work humiliate people in front of the other or keep them under strict supervision, they isolate the victims or completely exclude them from the work community.

Such bullies will poison the good mood at their workplace by showing inadequate behavior, making others fear them or make their victims fell anger and depression. Organizations are the ones who end up paying the price of such bullying because efficiency at the workplace is generally lower, people are absent, unmotivated and some people end up even suing the company or quitting. Studies show that people who end up being bullied at work spend half of their working hours trying to defend themselves or seeking understanding from others, analyzing the situation and trying to deal with the lack of motivation. In some cases, people will even ask for days off work. Families and friends of the victims are also affected because the victim often shows deformed behavior due to anxiety and frustration.

If you witness or area victim to bullying in the workplace, make sure to speak up and address the issue with management. Make sure to do your part in stopping harassment or aggressive behavior. Don’t be a work bully, be a work bully buster!

And please share your work bullying stories as comments and share with us how you dealt (of didn’t deal) with the situation. When we share, we all learn.

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Why do some people bully in the first place? It seems that adults are bullying young people, kids are bullying adults and the circle goes on and on. There are several types of bullying, but first of all, let’s see why do people bully in the first place. Bullying is used by some people to control others either using verbal abuse, like teasing, threats and even violence. The action of bullying takes place in schools, at the workplace, even at home or on the playground. Unfortunately, it seems that bullying is a common form of abuse in the US society. But USA is not alone, most European countries also also have these problems, especially in the eastern part of Europe where kids often use verbal and physical violence to show off that they are better than others.

There are many reasons behind bullying and there are cultural causes among others. For example, in a culture where everybody is lead by the desire to be a winner, be successful and dominate others, it is expected that people will be influenced and will want to seek power using violence. Domestic violence is sometimes at the base and it is regarded that young people are raised thinking that violence is the answer and it is the only way to get what they want. Another example can be taken from the wrestling area, where bullies are glorified in the name of entertainment. Especially young people are very easily influenced and once they get to know this world, it is unlikely they will think of another alternative to getting their way done.

Another reason why people bully can be determined by social issues. In case people get more  recognition with negative actions and behavior, they will contribute to bullying. Even in real life, like schools for instance, the fact that acting out will get that child noticed better than behaving civilly and responsibly. Lack of social skills or personal skills, jealousy and envy can lead to bullying as well. It is well known that in families where the atmosphere is not loving and supportive, where feelings are not shared and encouraged, children often become bullies, perhaps not at home, but definitely in school, on the streets and in society. Especially when there is a punitive atmosphere, bullies will always exist and come out.

There are even researches that state that people who have power will make other people wish to wield in a very noticeable way. It is a known fact that boys and men are more prone to bullying, but since nowadays women have taken over 50% of the workforce, woman on woman bullying has been reported. There are many reasons why people are bullying and comes from gender, racism, religion and family issues. But no matter the causes, bullying is a serious matter and if it is not handled soon, it can lead to serious social problems for those people.

Of course there are some countries and cultures in the world that teach their children to be loving and respect one another no matter what. These societies don’t see bullying the way most western cultures do. Unfortunately, with just a few exceptions, bullying has still found its way to schools and playgrounds everywhere around the world.

Please feel free to share your international bullying stories as comments! The more people share, the more they realize they are not alone.

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