Of all the people in the world who saw and responded to the video Nicole is most grateful to Rener (pronounced HENNER) Gracie, son of UFC founder Rorion (pronounced HORIAN) Gracie who runs theGracie Bullyproof program in Torrance, CA www.GracieKids.com.
“Rener was show
n the video by one of his students at Gracie Academy and in response he made a video
talking about wanting to help Austin,” Nicole explained. “I hadn’t seen it and had no clue who he was.
Never even hear of jiu jitsu, but my sister-in-law called me up and asked when we were going to
California to meet this guy and so I watched the video to see what she was talking about.”
“Seeing that video of Austin being attacked, it just moved me. It was the easiest decision in the world to
make, to bring Austin and his
family out to Gracie Academy and do everything in our power to help,” said
Gracie in an in-person interview while in Norfolk, Va. last week to teach a seminar. Gracie was paid byOld Dominion University to come in from California to train at-risk children from a local neighborhood inGracie Bullyproof verbal and jiu-
jitsu defenses the week before school starts here.”
Nicole, who describes herself as, “Not someone who goes on hunches and feelings” took a leap of faith
for the first time in her life and decided to look Gracie up online and give him a call.
“Best decision I ever made,” she now says. “He saved my son’s life. That’s not an exaggeration either.Those people out there at Gracie Academy save kids lives and I can’t say enough good things about
fter seeing the change in Austin.”
Nicole added, “Austin was in such a slump for months and months, and knowing that someone out there
was willing to do something to bring him back to us was like a light at the end of the tunnel top finally endthe turmoil
What Gracie and his family did after Nicole called was fly Austin, his mom and Dad from Shelbyville, IN toTorrance, CA for an all-expense-paid week of training, bonding and spiritual renewal. See the video
Austin’s mom wanted something positive about h
er son to be out there on video as a final step in his
healing process and she asked the Gracies to help her make as a documentary of her son’s
The video, which got 88,000 views within the first 48-hours of its release on YouTube, shows a shy,nervous boy on day one and a confident, laughing, self-assured young man who can drop an attacker and pin a bully on the ground safely, without turning into a bully himself on day five.
“What makes me feel good about this type of training is that they pay attention to the fear that the victimcould become the bully,” Nicole said. “Austin knows the number one rule is always to avoid the fight, but
he is trained to handle
himself now and it’s something I wish I’d known about and done for him much,much sooner.”
Austin started school last week as a high school freshman and his mother met with the new principal andguidance counselor the week before classes began to give them the new lay of the land.
“I told them that the new approach this year is that Austin’s taking care of Austin,” she said. “No morebeing afraid to go to school.”
Austin’s approach according to his mother is the use of “the verbal jiu jitsu and body languag
e he learned
from the Gracies.” He knows that a fight is to be avoided, but if one comes to him and he needs to stay
safe he can do that.