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This past weekend, black belt and International Jiu Jitsu Education Fund Vice-President Ishmael Bentley held a fundraising seminar at his Minneapolis-based academy, M-Theory Martial Arts. We’re so proud and excited to see the amazing turnout from jiu jitsu practitioners across the Twin Cities area. We were able to raise over $2000 for IJEF, which will provide months of support and supplies for our instructors and  Thank you to everyone who came to support and who donated to our cause!

We’d like to give a special thanks to Black Arrow Martial Arts, Minnesota Top Team, Southside BJJ, The Academy and its founder Greg Nelson, Spartan Martial Arts, and the Grappling Central Podcast! Hopefully you’ll hear Professor Ishmael soon on Grappling Central — we’ll be sure to share!

Until then, keep Rolling Toward a Better World!

IJEF Cambodia Academy Group Shot

IJEF is pleased to announce the launch of its very first academy in Asia — Cambodia to be exact.

IJEF Vice President Ishmael Bentley worked diligently with Vivaddhana “Vi” Khaou of Phnom Penh, Cambodia to establish an IJEF program at Coach Vi’s outstanding H/Art Academy. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an underrepresented martial arts in Asia, where art forms like muay thai and taekwondo dominate, and Coach Vi has been relentless in trying to bring jiu-jitsu to his home country.

That’s exactly why we’re so excited to be sponsoring Coach Vi. We want to spread BJJ to every corner of the globe, driving community change through the beautiful art we love.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. Coach Vi needs uniforms, supplies, and transportation to support his motivated students. While our monthly stipend will help cover these costs, we can’t wait to travel to see Coach Vi in action. The plan is to go in December (when the weather is driest and sunniest). Plenty of time for Professor Ishmael to learn some Cambodian!

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of this amazing new academy — until then, keep helping us roll toward a better world!

40 Kids Training Free IJEF Ecuador Image

Wow! Coach Bryan Tamayo of the Ecuador Project has already increased his enrollment from 15 to 40 kids in just a few short weeks! What a dedicated Roll Model. Bryan’s work really illustrates the community-building power of jiu-jitsu. When these kids are “on the mat” — a revered and special place for a martial artist — they are expected to practice mutual respect and to work as a team to make everyone better. They learn to love others’ success as much as they love their own. And these principles pay off — just look how much fun they’re having in this image, courtesy of Coach Bryan!

Our focus is now to get each of these kids a personal uniform, known as a gi, as soon as possible. Donate to make this mission happen. Just $20 will buy and deliver a gi to one of these awesome kids!

Xela Academy 30 Kids Image
Another day, another exciting update from IJEF, the International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund. Today we’re happy to report Coach Oswaldo of Xela, Guatemala added his 28th student to the roster!
Coach Oswaldo began his instruction with just twelve students, training on a dirt floor in gym shorts. When we came to visit, he had around 20 students. We’re glad we brought some extra uniformss, since his school only continues to grow! In fact, the image for this post was Coach Oswaldo’s academy as of August — from 14 to 28 students in just over a month. Incredible work!
With any luck, Coach Oswaldo will need some more uniforms soon. Help him out by making a donation — just $20 covers the cost to get a brand new kids uniform to his academy!

IJEF: The International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund