Pataskala teen teaches bullying education, self-defense to students before school year

Chelsea Shipley, 15, teaches class at the Pataskala Martial Arts Academy (WBNS 10TV)

PATASKALA, Ohio - She started hitting the mat when she was seven.

"For some reason, I've always just kind of had an interest in martial arts," Chelsea Shipley said.

Now, Shipley is 15 and the student has become the teacher.

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At the Pataskala Martial Arts Academy she teaches To-Shin Do to small children. It's a Japanese art of self-defense. A couple weeks ago, Shipley had an idea for community outreach.

"Some people have it worse than others," she said. "Everyone has a story."

Herself included. She's about to start her sophomore year in high school. She knows, like so many, how bullying hurts.

"I know that teenagers and just kids, in general, can be mean," she said. "And I thought it would be great to do a workshop where we talk about bullying so people will know they're not alone."

At the workshop, she invited children and teens for free lessons on self-defense and education about what bullying is and how to avoid it.

"It's just a way of reaching out to the community," Sensei Chuck Jackson said. "Let them know we're here. We're here to help."

Jackson says workshops are always student-focused. In the past, he says they have covered topics like active shooter training.

This year, he says the idea was all Shipley's. A new way to take on an old issue.

She's dealt with bullying. Probably, at some point, we all have. But, as a new school year begins, so does a new you.

"Remember your worth," she said. "People don't define you and no matter what they say they cannot tear down your worth."

To learn more about the Pataskala Martial Arts Academy, click here.