The Bully Factor
By Genet Berhane
Patrick is a second-degree Black Belt in Tae Kwan Doone of the youngest in the country to achieve this rank. He hopes to someday reach the rank of Master. He spent several years as an assistant instructor in martial arts schools, and has won a number of awards for his skills. He discovered that he could adapt his skills to teach kids basic, easy-to-learn ways to protect themselveswithout harming the bully.
"You are not alone, and there IS help out there," Patrick says. "Your best defense in any situation is knowledge of how to act and react in those situations."
The Best Defense
The purpose of the "for kids, by kids" video is to keep kids safe when they find themselves being physically bullied. Patrick's parents say their son's work fills a gap in education.
"When it gets physical, kids don't know what to do," says Danielle McKay, Patrick's mom. She works as a part-time teacher and sees the problems kids have to face every day.
Patrick recently screened The Bully Factor at an assembly at his school. Besides the tips on self defense, the movie includes advice for bystanders in a bullying situation.
"The ones who witness it are just as much to blame for the bullying if they don't take the appropriate action (as I discuss and show them in the video), such as breaking it up, or getting help quickly," Patrick told Scholastic News Online.
Patrick has received support for his video from officials across his home state of Maryland, including Governor Robert Ehrlich and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley. And the praise doesn't stop there. The United States Congress, the Presidential Fitness Council, and even President George W. Bush have acknowledged Patrick's work. Patrick has also been honored as the first child to receive Baltimore's "Hometown Hero" award.
The next video in The Best Defense series will deal with ways kids can protect themselves from abduction. The tactics in the new video will be more aggressive to deal with the seriousness of kidnapping.
"[It's about] fighting for your life," says Patrick's mom.
Making a difference is something that runs in the McKay family. Collin McKay, Patrick's younger brother, trained with Patrick as he prepared for the video, and helped with the production processyou can spot him in one of the scenes. Collin is excited by the work his brother is doing in the fight against bullying.
"I think it's awesome!" Collin says. "There is no better feeling than being able to help other people."
Not only did Collin lend a hand to Patrick's project, he also has a cause of his own. "Collin's Cause" was created to send care packages to the troops in Iraq.
"I wanted all the soldiers there to know how much we all appreciate what they are doing for our country!"
Patrick has nothing but positive things to say about the work his younger brother is doing.
"I admire my little brother for wanting to help me with the video and for getting involved in his own projects," Patrick says. "We both feel very strongly about helping others."
Patrick and Collin do a lot of activities togetherBMX biking, clowning around on the trampoline, attending martial arts classes, and playing video games. They're also doing their part to make their community a better, safer place. Together, the McKay brothers show that any time is a good time to help other people.
"You are NEVER too young to take action in something you feel is important," Patrick says. "If you have determination, you can find a way."
To learn more about The Best Defense series and The Bully Factor, visit Revelation Martial Arts.