BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – The verbal jabs and emotional punches they endure at school have led a group of boys and girls to take up taekwondo at Han’s Taekwondo Academy.

“Taekwondo is striving for excellence within the individual, being able to be confined within themselves to go out in the world and stand strong, be a team player, a leader,” Steve Diaz, a volunteer instructor who enrolled his kids and wife at the martial arts studio, said.

Every sparring match ends with a handshake, a bow, and a hug to teach good sportsmanship.

School assemblies teach “stop, walk, and talk” to educate students on walking away, and finding an adult to speak with when being bullied.

But the lessons learned at Han’s go a step further, helping kids find balance and confidence, and exhibit resilience and grace under pressure.

“Taekwondo has helped me build my self confidence and skills, so if I ever see myself or others getting bullied, I will stand up for myself and for them,” Weslee Albarillo, an elementary school student in Bakersfield, said.

Han’s Taekwondo Academy is located at 7401 White Lane Suite #9. Bakersfield, California.

Original article by:  Emma Goss, Eyewitness News