MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When you think about martial arts you may be quick to associate it with fighting or violence of some kind but at Vien Jiu Jitsu, that’s not the case.

Over the weekend owner Gee Vien and his instructors held an anti-bullying workshop for kids in the Syracuse area. The workshop was focused on preventing violence and de-escalating certain situations rather than resorting to violence.

Vien, along with one of the instructors, April Parks, taught the kids verbal tactics and body positioning in order to prevent violent situations.

“Empowering kids with just self-confidence and some and some different strategies and tactics regarding verbal assertion and also body posture,” Parks said. “And general awareness so that kids could stand up for themselves and others.”

Parks says that Jiu-Jitsu is unique in that it allows for the ability to focus on controlling a situation without resorting to typical physical violence.

“With jiu-jitsu, one of the beautiful things about it is it’s predicated on de-escalation, so strategies to stop things before they happen,” Parks said, “Strategies to not use violence but rather use positions of dominance to control a person to make them decide on their own to stop as opposed to having to resort to any type of physical violence where we have to hurt someone.”

For Vien, passing along his knowledge to younger generations is something he takes pride in.

“I did deal with a little bullying and it probably affected me in ways that I wasn’t aware of until recently and it can really ruin someone’s life,” he said. “So it feels good to give back a little bit.”

“Jiu-Jitsu is not for bullies,” Parks said, “So it’s really to empower people who want to stand up for themselves and be verbally assertive and confident to be able to do so.”

That confidence came through for the kids during the workshop which Vien says is what it was all about.

“Generally happy and confident kids don’t bully,” he said.