Brimming with confidence

She was not even six years old when Lillian Marchand knew the sting of a bully's fist.

She would come home with bruises after being terrorized at school.

Her parents took steps to stop the bullying, including putting her in Brazilian jiu jitsu, a martial art of grappling and submissions, hailed by many as one of the most effective martial arts in the world.

Six years later, Marchand is a different girl.

She is brimming with confidence, she has strong self esteem and she is definitely not being bullied anymore.

Of course, being a two-time World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion in her age group doesn't hurt either.

Marchand now has friends that train with her at NOS Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Vernon and she is a changed girl.

In Grade 7 at Harwood Elementary, she walks with her head held high and encourages others to do so as well.

Martial arts may not be for everyone, and there are many programs in town for victims and bullies alike, but for Marchand, Brazilian jiu jitsu was the key to give her confidence and stop the bullying.

“I feel good. It feels good to be someone who can also influence others to not be afraid,” said Marchand. “They can come join here and feel more confident in themselves as well.”

Mario Deveault, of NOS Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, said while the grappling martial art does teach people how to physically handle an aggressive assailant, it also does much more.

“Brazilian jiu jitsu will help your child with confidence and self esteem. You are dealing with a resisting opponent here so it is a very practical martial art,” said Deveault. “Let's say you develop a thicker skin so things that would normally bother you don't bother you anymore because you have that confidence.”

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