Education

Westfield Karate Teacher Develops National School Program to Stop Bullying

John Mirrione founded and directs the not-for-profit organization Harmony Power Foundation.

WESTFIELD, NJ — John Mirrione is a master karate teacher. He performed as a break dancer at Harlem’s Apollo theater in the 80’s and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. But when you ask Mirrione what he’s most proud of, he speaks about his work helping kids who are bullied.

Mirrione heads one of the most influential anti-bullying campaigns in New Jersey. He founded and directs the not-for-profit organization Harmony Power Foundation, the charity arm of his well-known New York City based Karate School, Harmony by Karate. 

“The mission of my charitable organization is to stand up to bullying and to stand for human equality,” said Mirrione, 52, who lives on the south side of town. “Considering the world events, issues of bullying and racism are intertwined. When children bully they mostly attack human differences.”

Sign Up for E-News

Harmony Power was officially formed in 2015, but it was years in the making, as Mirrione had planned on making this his own personal mission. In 2010, Mirrione with his own money and with sponsorship by Harmony by Karate embarked on a 17 -city tour including stops in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles where he imparted his message.

On the trip he shared with children at schools and YMCAs that he visited with tales of being bullied himself as a child and what he did to stand up to the people who wanted to destroy him. Most importantly, he said, he stressed the importance of being self-empowered, believing in himself and knowing that anything is possible.

Since that trip, Harmony Power has become part of a New Jersey anti-bullying bill that was submitted by assembly women Shavonda E. Sumter. The goal of this bill is to recognize as many children as possible to promote harmony through art, music, dance, community service and other such avenues. As part of a school assembly program called Universal Harmony Day in June, 75 awards were given in Bayonne, NJ, and 95 awards were given in Elizabeth.

This month alone Mirrione has 24 school assembles organized in Bayonne and Elizabeth to impart his anti-bullying message, which will include more than 5,000 children in total. He hopes to bring his program to the Westfield schools at some point.

“Children bully in every school and in every city,” Mirrione said.

“Kids need to believe, give of themselves and then they can achieve,” he said. “This takes away the desire for them to hurt each other.”

Mirrione moved to Westfield with his wife and three children in 2016.  His wife, who is an elementary school principal in Summit, and Mirrione, who has a Masters Degree in Spiritual Development, were drawn to Westfield in part because of the strength of the schools. He has learned firsthand the quality of the district having a child each in elementary, middle and high school, he said. What really impressed Mirrione about Westfield was the sense of community that he experienced during his frequent visits to the town living in nearby Edison. He likes to tell people it’s Norman Rockwell meets the Upper West Side.

“It’s a blend of old America and New America,” Mirrione said.

Mirrione’s anti-bullying campaign has allowed him to get his message across to millions of people world-wide as a guest in 2015 on Deepak Chopra One World TV station. The show was broadcast to over 200 countries. In addition, in 2016 he was the keynote speaker for GE’s World Leadership Conference in New York. In front of representatives of 70-plus countries, his stressed the importance of being focused on the present and in creating a more harmonious environment in which to live.

For more information on anti-bullying and the Harmony Power Foundation, visit harmonypowernow.org or harmonybykarate.com. If you would like to speak to Sensei John P Mirrione, you can contact him directly at 646-387-2073.

Tapinto Westfield asked Mirroine for some practical advice regarding bullying:

How do you recognize a bully? It’s one who repeatedly uses verbal or physical aggression to hurt another person.

How do you confront bullying? Choices:

1. Walk away.

2. Deep listening.

3. Being present by using listening and compassion to feel and understand why the other person is so angry.

4. Deep listening then walking away.

5. Use verbal aggression back by standing up.

6. Yelling the word stop as loud as you can to create awareness to people in your surroundings while at the same time raising your hand with your palm facing forward as a hand singnal.

7. Stand up by using physical aggression to protect yourself from being injured.

What if you discover that your child is the bully?

1. Ask your child why they are doing that.

2. Ask them also how would it feel if someone were to do that to them.

3. The child should go back to the other child or children to apologize and express empathy.

Mike Cohen is a frequent contributor to TAPinto Westfield. In addition to being the Sports Editor of Education Update, he is the Founder/Director of Throwback Sports (a sports program for children of all abilities). He can be reached at throwbacksports@verizon.net.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Roselle Park Tutor/Substitute Teacher Charged with Inappropriately Touching an Elizabeth Teen

November 17, 2017

ROSELLE PARK, NJ — A Roselle Park tutor and substitute teacher, Nestor Saavedra, 49, was arrested and charged with inappropriately touching an Elizabeth teenager, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour.

Authorities say that an investigation led by Roselle Park Police Detective John Deegan revealed that Saavedra was tutoring the victim in his Roselle ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting Nov. 14

November 16, 2017

COUNSELING DEPARTMENT REPORT

Maureen Mazzarese, Director of Counseling in the Westfield Public Schools, prepared a report summarizing the department’s missions, goals and practices in supporting our K-12 students and their families.  Here are some highlights which briefly summarize the comprehensive report:
 

At every grade level, counselors are working with students ...

Boy Scout Troop 77 to Hold Wreath and Garland Sale

November 17, 2017

St. Paul’s Boy Scout Troop 77 will hold it’s annual Christmas wreath and garland sale on Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on 414 East Broad Street, Westfield.

Troop 77 will be selling live, fresh fir wreaths with red bows and live, fresh fir garland roping by the foot. Large ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Cars Stolen from Driveways & More

November 15, 2017

November 9, 2017 11:34 p.m.

Officers Natale and Johnson arrested Ralph Cortese Jr., age 47, of Blairstown, NJ, on the strength of an active Paterson Municipal Court warrant in the amount of $750 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released on recognizance.

 

November 8, 2017 5:38 p.m.

Officer Jackus and R. Johnson arrested ...

Recovering from Addiction

November 16, 2017

You don’t recover from an addiction by just quitting.  You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.  If you do not create a new life for yourself, then all the factors that led you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again.  AA teaches that you must change people, places and things.

You don’t have to change everything in your ...

The First Holiday Season Without Your Person — Making a Plan, Checking it Twice

If you are facing your first holiday after an important person in your life has died, it’s not too early to come up with a plan. Watching others who are feeling thankful and are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad can be very painful. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one.   

The first step in coping ...

Westfield Area Y Men’s Club Annual Tree Sale About to Begin

For over 65 years, the Westfield Area Y Men's Club has held its annual Christmas Tree Sale at the Elm Street field. All proceeds are donated to local charities and non-profit organizations. The event is run by club members from Westfield, Scotch Plains, Mountainside and Cranford, along with many volunteers from area organizations and local youth.

The trees will be delivered and lot ...

5 Ways for Small Business Owners to Separate Business and Personal Finances

I suspect most business owners that provide for their families would argue that nearly all business matters are personal! Unfortunately, too many times I have seen clients, intentionally or not, commingle their personal objectives with their business. This can quickly lead to decision making that has calamitous results for both your personal and business planning.

Here are five issues I hear ...

Celebrating the Holidays After a Divorce – How Separated Couples Choose to Share Time With Their Children Can Make a Big Difference

With the holidays approaching, people are busy making travel arrangements and shopping lists, digging out old recipes and getting their homes ready for what is arguably one of the most family oriented times of the year. However for couples with children who are ending their marriage or relationship these times come with an added layer of concern as to how they will share time with their children ...

Tips to Sell Your Home this Winter

The winter is usually the main focus is on family and the holidays, not on buying a home

Perhaps your winter selling strategy needs an adjustment. Strategize for the season. Take advantage of seasonal opportunities, current market trends, home care and staging tips and sell your home this winter.

Seasonal Opportunities:

Winter is the time for opportunities like job relocations, ...

November 20 Deadline for Westfield BOE Kindergarten Survey

At the Westfield Board of Education meeting on Nov. 14, Long Range Planning Chair Mark Friedman announced that Monday, Nov. 20, is the deadline for Westfield residents to submit the survey on full-day kindergarten. The 3-minute survey, which includes background information on the topic – including potential facility expansion and operating costs – is available ...

Obituaries

Oct 24, 1926 - Aug 14, 2017
Elizabeth H. List, 90, of Westfield and Cape May, NJ, died peacefully surrounded by her family ...
Read more

Hub City Native, Longtime Boxer, Facing Off for Global Title in Atlantic City This Weekend

November 17, 2017

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — New Brunswick native and legendary boxer Jorge “King” Diaz has certainly had his ups and downs over the years, and in some ways, he’s epitomized the rags to riches story.

Diaz was born in New Brunswick and throughout his youth, moved around to Puerto Rico, Franklin Township and North Brunswick, before finally settling down in Somerset some years ...