Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is so much more than “just” a martial art… It’s a way of life that builds character – especially for the young ones.
One such, bright example, comes from the Guardian Peru project – with a boy named Anderson, whose teammates protect him from bullies.
Salvatore Sanguinetti, founder of Guardian Peru, spoke about the incredible young man:
Anderson is a kid that came through one of the students… He is deaf and he has these motor coordination issues. But his mind is brilliant, you know? He is a kid that has been underestimated for a long time.
However, one day Anderson’s mom came to Sanguinetti and told him that he doesn’t want to train anymore:
His mom came to talk to me and was like: “He doesn’t want to come to Jiu-Jitsu anymore, because he is getting bullied in the school… He doesn’t want to come, he doesn’t want to leave the house.”
So, I said: “No, you stop this and you just bring him here. And I’ll talk to him.”
And he told me: “I don’t want to come because they beat me up in the school.”
Following that conversation, Sanguinetti spoke with other students and let them know that they need to protect their teammate… Which they gladly did and continue to do:
After that, we sat down with everybody and I said: “You know, you guys have this brother, this teammate that is with you guys. So, anytime you see something happening to him, you must take a stand and take him away from that situation. Stand up for him.”
And that’s what they’ve been doing since then.
He’s been coming to class happy since that day… And the kids tell me: “Hey, nothing happened this week. He’s okay. In the school, they know that we train so nobody gets close to him.”
Anderson is an amazing kid and shows the power of BJJ and friendship:
I mean, this kid is… His heart is… He laughs all the time, he just cracks up laughing and laughing and laughing. He doesn’t stop laughing – and he tries to get you in something. He’s sneaky, too.
And he spreads that smiling to the whole class. He makes other kids sensitive to this type of situations, and it’s very impressive how he can give you hope for other kids to come.
He knows that he’s protected by his friends, you know?
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To find out more about the Guardian Peru project, you can do so on the following link.