How BJJ Helped Convicted Killer Clinton Hollett Reform His Life

How BJJ Helped Convicted Killer Clinton Hollett Reform His Life



Every life journey has it’s trials and tribulations. Such was the case with then 17 year old Clinton Hollett. At age 17 he was convicted of a 2nd degree murder in a brutal beating in Halifax. He was promptly sent to jail.

Once his parole was granted in 2006 he was faced with a tough challenge – making amends and trying to reintegrate himself into the society. He then began his dedicated journey making sure others avoid making the same mistakes he was forced to pay a steep price for in his youth.

As he told globalnews.ca:

“I quickly learned that there’s an easier way through these physical problems. That thought process quickly translated to my real life,” Hollett said.

Still the community in Calgary took a bit of work to warm up to him. Luckily he’s spent the last decade of his life dedicated to jiu-jitsu which has helped him a great deal.

The Emergent Martial Arts studio, where he works is upfront about his past:

“We understand that it may seem like something that would scare people away,” April Houson, manager of Emergent Martial Arts, said.

“But he doesn’t hide his story. He uses it as a tool to reach people. He believes in what he’s doing because it helps people not make the same mistakes that he did.”


The acceptance of the Jiu-Jitsu community has been overwhelming for Hollett who said it’s been an uphill battle since being granted parole.

“Most people just want the bad,” Hollett said. “I just keep doing good,” Hollett said. “I keep my head out of trouble. This is a case where the system worked.”

Interestingly when he was granted parole in 2006 it was under the condition he not attend any boxing events or fights.

This is jiu jitsu, helping us get in touch with the best aspects of ourselves and connecting us into an accepting community.