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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!

M Theory Martial Arts Fundraiser in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thanks to M-Theory Martial Arts and The Academy!

Saturday June 10th marked the first fundraiser with IJEF-affiliated academies M-Theory Martial Arts and The Academy. These two schools helped The International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund raise over $1900 for the IJEF mission!!! As our staff is works on an entirely volunteer basis, 100% of these funds will go to helping spread jiu-jitsu practice to underprivileged communities in Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, Los Angeles, and elsewhere around the world!

According the fundraiser’s organizer, Professor Ishmael Bentley, over 60 students attended the two-part seminar, which began at The Academy in the morning and finished at M-Theory in the afternoon. Among the attendees were a total of NINE black belts — amazing to have so much jiu-jitsu knowledge concentrated in one place!

The morning began with accomplished martial artist Renan Vital showing some judo moves and guard passes. Then Professor Ishmael showed some guard passes, followed by Professor Greg demonstrating some escapes from side control.

Then in the afternoon, Professor Greg showed a number of further guard passes and Professor Ishmael instructing the group in some attacks from the closed guard.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to this event and donated to the IJEF mission! We absolutely could not do what we do without the generous support of so many dedicated jiu-jitsu practitioners helping us Roll Toward a Better World!

Jiu Jitsu Connection

Come to the Jiu Jitsu Connection IJEF Benefit Tournament, Saturday April 22nd!

This weekend’s Jiu Jitsu Connection IJEF Benefit Tournament will be the first in-house tournament held by Jiu Jitsu Connection — we are so excited to have the support of this California-based Jiu Jitsu association. Jiu Jitsu Connection is an association of friendly academies that get together for training, exchange, and support. They’ve been highly involved with a number of charitable organizations, raising funds for breast cancer awareness, important surgeries for members of associated academies, and now IJEF kids! Originating with Level Up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in West Los Angeles, Pacific Top Team in Corona, and Vilanova Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Camarillo, Jiu Jitsu Connection has grown to several other academies and has become a great movement of Jiu Jitsu friendship.

Thank you Jiu Jitsu Connection for your support of the International Jiu Jitsu Education Fund! If you’re interested in participating in the Benenfit Tournament, check the Facebook event or contact Pacific Top Team in Corona, California, the host of the tournament.

#IJEF #JiuJitsuConnection #RollingTowardABetterWorld

Jiu Jitsu Connection

Welcome to IJEF The International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund

The International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund is a charity determined to bring our beloved martial art to children across the globe. From Brazilian shantytowns to the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, IJEF operates under a simple ethos: the more kids learning jiu-jitsu today, the better off the world is tomorrow. That’s because we know that jiu-jitsu represents more than a martial art. It’s respect, discipline, and family.

IJEF originated with the most elemental relationship in all of jiu-jitsu practice: professor and student.

The professor was Erik Klinger, 2nd degree black belt and instructor for over 25 years. The student was a recent immigrant to the United States, just 18 at the time. For five years the professor taught the discipline of jiu-jitsu to the student. Like many young martial artists who have felt the pull of jiu-jitsu, he seemed to be at the academy more than he was away from it, training more often than not. He often helped instruct kids’ classes, constantly learning and improving until he was teaching on his own. But when he eventually made the difficult decision to return to his home country to be with family, he was a coach and student no longer.

Years passed. The relationship simmered until the day Erik received a call from his long-time student.

Child Learns from Roll Model Oswaldo Vasquez of Xela, Guatemala

A young child listens to Coach Oswaldo’s instructions in Xela, Guatemala.

“Have you been training?” the professor asked.

“There is no jiu-jitsu here, professor. There is nobody teaching,” replied the student.

“Then why don’t you teach?”

The student considered it for a moment. “It would be a joy to do so. But I have no uniforms, no mats, and no time outside of my work.”

And there it was: an opportunity to spread jiu-jitsu to a place where it hadn’t been before.

“My friend,” Erik told the student, “we’ll get you the uniforms, the mats, and the money to support yourself. In return, find as many kids as you can and start teaching them — for free — wherever you can find the space.”

And so, IJEF was born.

This modest beginning– a bond between student and professor– has grown into an international non-profit with instructors in four different countries and counting. The efforts of these dedicated individuals have brought scores of newcomers into the jiu-jitsu community. Children are learning. Lives are changing. And with the help of so many generous believers in the power of jiu-jitsu, the movement continues to flourish.

IJEF: The International Jiu-Jitsu Education Fund