Jiu jitsu may be a mandatory thing in United Arabian Emirates but in rest of the world it’s far from being a reality. This is a gap fifth grade teacher Eduardo Rodriguez wanted to fix.
Eduardo Rodriguez developed a passion for Brazilian jiu-jitsu when he was a student at Western Oregon University in 2010.
Rodriguez, who’s a fifth-grade teacher at Weddle, started an after school jiu-jitsu club in the gym that takes place Mondays and Fridays from 3:45-5 p.m. According to a keizertimes report:
“I noticed that we didn’t have very many after school programs,” Rodriguez said. “I knew that I had always wanted to teach (jiu-jitsu) and I thought this was the perfect way to do something extra for the kids.”
“It’s just something fun to do after school.”
“It’s really fun learning new things and it’s just fun to be with friends after school because not a lot of people get clubs,” said fourth-grader Draven Harris.
“I used to have very little focus on what I wanted to do,” Rodriguez said. “With jiu-jitsu, I had to focus all of my attention on one thing. So I wanted to give that to these kids.”
Rodriguez acknowledged that he several kids in his class that suffer with ADHD and/or behavioral issues and that the art of jiu-jitsu has helped them better manage their problems.
“There are some kids that show some explosive behaviors when they’re in class. But in here, I never see that,” Rodriguez said. “Teachers have told me that some of the kids are now walking around with more confidence in themselves because they know how to protect themselves now.”