June 14th, 2018 marked the culmination of our first 6 months of jiu jitsu programming at Friends of the Children. It was a celebration of the hard work and perseverance of the kids that participated, as well as recognition of the effort of the mentors that helped them be able to attend the classes. We played games, practiced some self-defense and jiu jitsu skills, and 9 eligible youth athletes were promoted to their next belt. Also, we ate cake J
During these past months, over 40 students have interacted with jiu jitsu and 20+ kids attended 5 classes or more. This is an outstanding level of engagement for a fledgling class.
The challenges that these youngsters face on a daily basis can make completing a martial arts course seem very daunting. We are so proud to be able to provide something that has become an integral part of many of their weekly routines. The potential lifelong impact of this exposure and training will help them to become well-rounded and positive members of our community. It will also aid in their ability to cope with what can be a harsh world – building confidence in themselves and helping them to set clear boundaries.
The Five Rings community, we want to heartily thank you! ! ! Yes, you. YOU made this possible through your support of last year’s Grapple-A-Thon, which raised almost $15,000. That money bought mats, uniforms, and paid for coaching for the program! From the ground up, we are building a foundation that will benefit Portland and the world.
Congratulations to Amaya, Jesus, Sinai, Kamaiya, Homey, Dominic, Anthony, Bella, and Julie for earning your belts! Special thanks to Coach Dan for spearheading the curriculum, and to Prof. Tom and “Coach” Matt for all the support.
Lots of exciting stuff happening for this program moving forward: summer camp, main academy crossover training, and this year’s Grapple-A-Thon. Keep your eyes peeled for more info!
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