HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — A Harrington Park student was getting bullied in school and was prepared to fight back.
But that's not what happened.
"The bully kicked the kid right in the groin," Martial Arts Trainer Guy Velella said.
Velella teaches martial arts out of Harrington Park, but his approach is to remove the strictness of following a specific style that might limit individuals from protecting themselves.
"My approach has always been practical and realistic."
The veteran martial artist has several certifications and dabbled in many others over his 30-plus years of training.
Velella started at an early age by necessity.
"As a kid I was sort of a wise guy," Velella said. "I needed some martial arts otherwise I’d get my butt kicked."
He says most people simply don't know what to do in a confrontation. In the past, Velella has taken on students who said they "froze up" during an encounter and felt traumatized by their inability to defend themselves.
Velella takes pride in passing on his skills but recognizes they have a specific purpose. Teaching "aware, avoid and action," Velella stresses that turning to violence should be a last resort if a confrontation is unavoidable.
All types of people visit Harrington Park to train with Velella, including some students in Demarest, Fort Lee, Edgewater and many more municipalities in Bergen County and beyond.
The program doesn't focus on a specific style. Instead, each person gets a slightly different model depending on their physique.
"The way I would train a woman who’s 105 pounds is different than a guy who’s 240 pounds," Velella said.
Velella's Martial arts is located at 90 Semmens Rd, Harrington Park, N.J. Interested parties can call (201) 937-6637.