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posted: 7/28/2012 10:40 AM

Huntley martial arts academy teaches defense against bullies

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Submitted by Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Huntley

Parents are invited to register their children for the "Back To School Bully Buster Bootcamp" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Huntley. Local martial arts academy owners Rick and Christine Bjorkquist are taking a stand against the increasing incidents involving bullying.

"I was picked on, teased and bullied when I was younger," Rick Bjorkquist said. "I was lucky to find a martial arts academy whose emphasis was on developing my self-confidence that helped me to survive the challenges I faced back then. Even before I achieved my Brown Belt, I wanted to have my own academy and help kids just like me."

Rick met his wife Christine, who was a McHenry County Sheriff's deputy for 11 years, through the martial art called Kyuki-Do, and together they have made it a priority to educate their communities in stranger safety, bully prevention, and the importance of leadership and character skills.

The Bjorkquists partnered with Kim's Black Belt Academy of Elgin owner Jeff Kim to open the then-named Kim's Black Belt Academy of Huntley. Together, they have informed the local communities on the benefits of martial arts for not only kids, but for the whole family. In January 2010, the Bjorkquists completed one of their lifetime goals; they purchased the academy from Kim and named it Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Huntley.

The Bjorkquists, through their combined total of more than 50 years in the martial arts, are providing a full-day camp to prepare children with tools to deal with bullying. Participants will learn hands-on self-defense skills against grabs, pushes and more. The day camp will teach kids how to stay calm in front of the bully, what to say to the bully, who to interact with and when to respond. The youth will learn how to remain calm, utilize "word blocks" to deflect verbal attacks, and redirect it away from themselves.

Everyone is invited to the "Back To School Bully Buster Bootcamp." You do not need to be a member of the academy to attend. There is a nominal fee to attend. Reservations are required as there are only 60 spaces available. Call (847) 669-6030.

For information, visit To have the Bjorkquists come and talk to your group or organization, email or call (847) 669-6030.