1st Annual Live Jiu Jitsu Fundraiser

How much has BJJ improved your life? If you have been practicing Jiu-Jitsu for a while, you have to agree that the “gentle art” is not only a great way to learn how to defend yourself, to get in better shape but is also an amazing personal development tool, that unfortunately is not accessible to everyone, especially to kids and young adults from impoverished communities.

LIVE JIU-JITSU is a 501 c3 Nonprofit Organization that supports social projects currently in Brazil and the United States who offer free Jiu-Jitsu classes in underprivileged neighborhoods, inspiring, impacting and improving the lives of thousands of kids and young adults, helping them to stay away from drugs and crime, creating hope and creating champions on and off the mats.

One of these organizations is Guardian Gym, a 501(c)3 nonprofit martial arts gym in downtown Oakland, California. They offer classes in boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and kick boxing. Their gym is free for kids ages 10 – 18, and offers affordable sliding-scale memberships for adults, that helps to maintain the facility.

On September 29th, 2018 at GD Jiu-Jitsu Academy located at 1848 W. University Dr. #108 in Tempe, Arizona, LIVE JIU-JITSU will be promoting its first LIVE JIU-JITSU Annual Fundraiser.

The event will offer six mini-seminars/open mat taught by World Class instructors, a “BJJ Garage Sale” with all Jiu-Jitsu related products such as: Gi, T-Shirts, DVD’s, raffles plus a silent auction with products donated by well known athletes.

All the procedures from this event will be donated to Guardian Gym towards their #cash2clean project.

September 29th, 2018 at GD Jiu Jitsu Academy

Garage Sale & silent auction - 2pm to 7pm

Session #1 - 2:30pm to 3:45pm 

Mat #1 - 16 to 34 years old colored belts. (Augusto Tanquinho)

Mat#2 - 16 & up No-Gi blue belt and up. (Josh Rodriguez & Gerson Atoigue)

Session #2 – 4:00pm to 5:15pm

Mat #1 - Female 16 & up color belts. (Karen Antunes)

Mat #2 - Female 16 & up white belts. (Sarah Black)

Session #3 - 5:30pm to 6:45pm 

Mat #1 - 35 years old & up color belts. (Jair Lourenco)

Mat #2 - 16 & up white belt (Samir Chantre).

Closing ceremony with Gustavo Dantas. 6:45pm to 7:00pm.

Guardian’s co-founder Ben Kovacs explanation of this great concept:

It's become clear that many of our students at Guardian are suffering from not having "pocket change" money.  This stresses them out, lowers their confidence, and is not something that is good for our community as a whole.  Not having the money to grab a burrito, get on the bus,  go to the movies, etc.  There have been a lot of studies completed on providing low-income folks money without stipulations on how they spend it.    Its' been shown that although there will of course always a small % of bad actors, in general, almost all the money goes to the right places.   So I got to thinking.......

Guardian will create a pilot program where we fund 4 of our youth students using this concept.  $65/week, $260/mo commitment to start.     Taking it a step further, we will pay them to clean up the city streets, not only work with inside of the Guardian Gym confines.   They will wear specially designated Guardian shirts, they pick up trash, scrub unwanted graffiti off walls, etc.   I'll get Clorox and some other local companies to donate the bags & supplies.   We simply don't have enough work anyway at the gym to put all those kids to work and many are desperate for something positive to accomplish.  We will focus on the area where Guardian 2.0 is moving into in order to endear ourselves to that local community of folks, get to know neighbors, etc.

This will provide the kids much needed jobs, and if successful be scalable due to the limitless cleanup efforts needed in Oakland.

Live Jiu Jitsu Co-founder Gustavo recently visited Guardian Gym in Oakland:

Gustavo Dantas  is a 5th Degree Black belt in BJJ
  • Co-Founder of Live Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Founder of the The BJJJ Mental Coach movement.
  • Owns and operates GD Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
  • Owns and operates GD Events.
  • President of AZBJJF.
Sarah Black - Sarah is a black belt in Judo and BJJ. She is the head coach of the women's and kids program at GD Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
  • 2009 3rd place at U.S. Judo National Championships.
  • 2013 IBJJF World Champion at Purple Belt.
  • 2015 IBJJF World Champion at Brown Belt.
  • 2015 IBJJF Masters World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2016 Silver Medal at IBJJF World Championships at Black Belt.
Karen Antunes - Karen is a Black Belt in BJJ and the women's and kids program instructor at Prodigy BJJ.
  • 2012 IBJJF World Champion at Purple Belt.
  • 2012 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Purple Belt.
  • 2013 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Brown Belt.     
  • 2014 IBJJF Pan-AM Champion at Brown Belt.
  • 2015 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2018 IBJJF World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2018 IBJJF Masters World Champion at Black Belt.
Samir Chantre - Samir is a 2nd Black Belt in BJJ and is a co-founder of Ares BJJ.
  • 2010 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2014 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2016 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 3 time Pan Am No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
Augusto Mendes -Augusto is a Black Belt in BJJ and a co-founder of Soul Fighters BJJ.
  • 2013 IBJJF World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2012 IBJJF No Gi World Champion at Black Belt.
  • 2011 and 2013 Abu Dhabi Pro World Champion.
  • MMA Record of 6-2, UFC Veteran.
Jair Lourenco - Jair is a 4th Degree Black Belt in BJJ and the founder of Team Kimura.
  • 2010 IBJJF International Masters Silver Medal at Black Belt.
  • 2009 CBJJE European Champion at Black Belt.
Josh Rodriquez Gerson Atoigue
  • Black belt adult Abu Dhabi super fight champion
  • LA pro black belt adult silver medalists
  • Master Worlds 2018 Black Belt Silver Medalist
  • Multipe Fight2Win victories
  • No gi pro warrior challenge champion
Gerson was born and raised on the small island of Guam and began his Jiu Jitsu journey at the tender age of 15. He fell in love with the smooth art as a Junior in high school while still active in other sports, specifically basketball. At that time, he decided to dedicate 100% of his time towards “The Gentle Art” of Jiu Jitsu. Gerson has competed in local, national, & world level completions from white belt, through black belt, and is still an active competitor. His passion for Jiu Jitsu, and teaching the art to others is evident the second he steps on the mat.