By Ryan Dean
St. Peters (KSDK) -- Jermaine Andre, knows how to knock a man down, but he also knows how to build a teen up. The retired world champion fighter has put his cage days behind him, and now is taking on his toughest opponent yet, bullying. He thinks his violent sport, can help solve the problem.
"The martial arts is basically an anti-bully program," Andre said.
But, maybe not in the way many think. Andre is not interested in chasing down bullies and giving them a taste of their own medicine. He wants to beat down the problem.
"It's the behavior we need to attack and not individuals," says Andre.
He says the behavior gets altered through the training.
"It's a test of endurance, it's a test of calmness, it's a test of courage. All these things that it takes to be a MMA fighter stems from mind control," Andre said.
He believes training the mind, through MMA helps victims and bullies.
Last year when KSDK visited his academy in St. Peters, we met kids who were former bullies and victims, but that all changed when they started taking Andre's classes.
The world champ believes the change he's seeing in his students is largely due to the confidence they gained
"I just want to talk to them about the behavior, and then I am going to build both of your confidence up so neither of you ever has to be a victim or a bully," Andre said.
Because of the success he has witnessed in his students, he is wanting to help more youth. He offers an anti-bullying clinic at his academy. The two hour class teaches kids how to recognize bullying behavior, avoid confrontations and they learn self defense techniques.
Andre is hosting a two week camp for kids ages five to 15 June 4th through the 8th and the 11th through the 15th. The cost is $200. To find out more about Andre's Academy, visit his website.