Speaker: kent hups, Teacher, Adams 12 five star schools
Please share your Name, Title, Company, and where you are based out of.
kent hups: My name is Kent Hups. I am a teacher at Adams 12 Schools. I've been there, I've been teaching, this will be my 20th year. I'm also President of Traditional Taekwondo Alliance and have three Taekwondo schools.
What age were you and how you were bullied?
kent hups: I was first bullied in grade school. There seemed to be two or three other young boys at that time that decided that I was an easy target. I really can't remember one day where I had to walk home where I didn't have to defend myself at some point. It was a matter of just fighting my way out of the situation. It was never an option to talk my way out. And so this continued all the way into high school with the same one or two people. So it was a painful journey. There were times that I would not go to school in good clothes because I knew what I was going to be dealing with on the way home.
How did the bullying impact you?
kent hups: Initially with the bullying, it was an age where you know, they said, "well learn to defend yourself, you know, if somebody is going to do something, you need to figure out a way out." There were times where I couldn't, for example, in high school I was chained to a backstop by my neck and with lock and key and was left there for a couple hours. I remember looking at people as I was being drug out there, looking for help. At that particular point, if somebody would have come up and said that's enough and stopped it, they would have been my hero. But nobody did and this has created with me, this is why I got into Taekwondo because I wanted to make sure that if I ever saw that happening that I would stop it because nobody really deserves to do that. That bullying got me into martial arts which changed my life because I got into it to show them a lesson. But I learned, it wasn't about beating people up, it was about learning what you have inside of you and making you stronger and understanding that it doesn't matter what people do, it won't, you know, you will not probably ever have to deal with them again. But it's the idea of like you know what you can do, but you don't do it. It was life changing for me. It really took me in directions that I am still benefiting from today. As of right now, I'm 9th degree black belt, I'm a Grandmaster. I have hundreds of people underneath me, and I see how that changes people. So, the bullying was bad, but it put me in a position where I was able to overcome it.
What would you say to your younger self now to give you hope that you will be ok and a success?
kent hups: If I could go back and say something to a younger me, I would tell me that it's, it gets better, it gets a lot better. And how it gets better is that, you know, you don't let these people that bully you take you down. If anything, let them make you stronger. There is absolutely no doubt that if I would not have been bullied, I wouldn't be where I'm at now. What I would also tell myself is that, you know, you get kind of caught up into this world, somebody's bullying me and I'm gonna bully somebody else. And I always want to look back at that going, you know, I wish it would have gone up to those people bullying and gone up to somebody and said, "that's enough and stop now." And because how many of those people would have thought, "hey, this person stopped they're my hero and they're looking out for me." And I think looking out for each other is so important because it really does stop this because usually bullying happens when one or more team up on somebody. And whenever the odds are equal or greater, they stop, because bullies don't like being outnumbered. So that's what I would tell myself.