Hey Dojo readers,
Last night we took the kids from our #RefugeeJitsu program at Project 658 to my home academy Leadership Martial Arts/Renzo Gracie Charlotte for their first ever class inside an actual BJJ academy. It was so much fun! Our students from Ivory Coast and Ethiopia were not able to make it, unfortunately. But the rest of them piled in the van and off we went.
They were cracking us up on the ride there, singing along (loudly!) to everything from Prince (RIP) to Miley Cyrus…
When we got there and got everyone on the mats, my instructor thought this would be a great time to break out the fog machine…and cape!
Haha, here’s the video of his epic entrance: https://www.facebook.com/steve.leslie.kennington/videos/10209228633291817/
The kids loved training with our students and were excited to meet their very first real life black belt; they all wanted pics with him after class:
All the folks from our academy who have come and volunteered with me at Project 658 on Thursday nights got together for a pic as well. These are my training partners who have shown the most support for the program from week one…
I was also surprised to receive my Renzo Gracie Charlotte instructor’s stripes on my belt after class in front of everyone (in our Renzo Gracie Jiujitsu system, the white bands on the ends of the black bar on a person’s belt designate them as an instructor with their own students or their own program).
My friend Sarah came and took pics of the class as well, and I’ll share some of them over on the #RefugeeJitsu page once she finishes editing them. She’s the one who took the very first ones we did back last year when we were trying to get this thing started with an initial seminar for the kids. So I’m looking forward to the shots she captured last night! **UPDATE: HERE THEY ARE COURTESY OF SARAHNEWLON.SMUGMUG.COM! Go check out Sarah’s work; she rocks!**
Before we left I sat the kids down in our secondary mat room and them that if they stick to their training, or anything else they are passionate about, there’s no limit to how far they can go. Meeting my instructor TC, and getting to train with him was a great example for them because his lifelong dream was to be able to earn a living through the martial arts, and our academy is the result of decades of hard work and determination. I think the kids left last night a little more inspired in their BJJ journey, and hopefully life in general!
Afterwards before heading back to Project 658 to take everyone home, we stopped at Jack-in-the-Box for milkshakes (thanks to a generous donation given that night for that purpose by one of our volunteers!)…
I just wanted to share this with you, Dojo readers, because all of it is directly a result of your generosity and financial support of Disciple Dojo (especially those of you who are monthly Dojo Donors!). We simply could not do this outreach without you, so I wanted you to be encouraged and to see the fruits of your giving!
Thank you from all of us!!