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 or 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

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Five Arrested, Firearm Seized in Cranford Motor Vehicle Traffic Stop

July 17, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ - Five people were arrested when a stolen gun loaded with hollow-point ammunition was discovered inside a car that was pulled over for a seatbelt and brake lamp violation, according to Cranford Police.

On July 14, 2018 at 9:52 p.m., Patrolman Brian Trotter stopped the 2001 Mercedes Benz on Raritan Road near the intersection of Coleman Avenue. After an investigation ...

More Traffic, No Solution – Letter to Governor Phil Murphy

July 17, 2018

Dear Governor Phil Murphy,

From the mid-1970s, when I was age 12, I’ve had this vivid memory of watching my parents participate in a peaceful demonstration against the construction of a 12-story hotel complex just behind our backyard. In fact, on Wednesday, September 29, 1976, the local newspaper ran an article with a photo showing my mother and her protest placard. The memory of that ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, July 18

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Wellness Wednesdays

Health & Wellness


Thu, July 19, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Free Swing Band Concert in Mindowaskin Park

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale

Westfield Police Blotter: Car Scratchings, Car Burglaries Continue & More

July 11, 2018

July 2, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Chad Doriral, age 32, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested for possession of CDS pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on summons.

July 3, 2018 11:08 p.m.

Divine Kennedy, age 19, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $1,000.00. Further investigation ...

Westfield Memorial Library Presents Keepsake Box Craft for Adults and Talk on NY Skyscrapers

July 17, 2018

The Westfield Memorial Library is excited to offer a craft for adults on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. and a program on the Skyscrapers of New York at 7 p.m. The library is located at 550 East Broad St.

The craft is the creation of a keepsake box, presented by librarian Marsha Bryant. The library will provide a tin box and other decorating supplies for each participant. Using paint, ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.


On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more