A LETTER FROm
Dear Fellow Martial Artists,
Nothing can been more fulfilling than carrying purposeful work…. If you look up the definition of “Purpose” you will find:
“The reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”
The latter part of the definition resonates with the core of our social cause, The Budo Youth Fund. The reason for which the fund exists is to help inspire the next generation of young minds to discover their true power and potential through martial arts, and inspire more parents to get their kids started.
The purpose behind Budo Brothers is to connect likeminded martial artists and create a unique brand around the community’s collective passion. Our goal is to celebrate ALL martial arts, share knowledge, help the community grow together as fellow martial artists, all while giving back.
Ironically, the giving back part has been the most difficult. Not difficult to put together. No, that was easy. The hardest part has been choosing the most deserving kids to fund - We had over $100,000 in applications, but only $10,000 available for youth martial arts grant funding. Though the selection process was incredibly difficult, we felt like the selections made allowed for the biggest opportunity for a meaningful impact.
We hope to highlight the true power of martial arts to transform young lives. We want to prove that it is a repeatable science. All you have to do is find a great instructor! Well, not only did we find some amazing kids, but we also found some incredible instructors and in this month’s issue we introduce everyone to the community :)
We also put together a TRIPLE feature this month! We are featuring three awesome martial artists that all have inspiring stories that we are thrilled to share. Please enjoy and happy training! :)
- Budo Brothers
Featured Budo Brother
There is a quotation by Carl Jung that states “the meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” I think this is much like when an individual encounters training in martial arts. If they take to training at all, they will be transformed.
I think everyone needs some device or venture that will allow them to release accumulated stress and exorcise their demons. Some hobbies or sports can do this for people, but many are lacking the completeness of a mind/body connection. I believe that’s the difference with martial arts, for me anyway. Training for me got me past some dark times, and remains a necessity in my life, recalibrating me when life gets chaotic or imbalanced. And of all the arts I train and have trained, Jiu-Jitsu does this for me best.
I struggled with depression as a kid, mostly due to my parent’s divorce and watching my mother involved in an abusive relationship for years after. The depression reached its peak when my sister was killed in a car wreck in the summer of 1991. Seeing how lost and hopeless I was, a friend invited me to come to his Tae Kwon Do class with him. I had always been interested in martial arts growing up and really enjoyed the class. I signed up and began training nearly every day.
It wasn’t as much that I loved Tae Kwon Do as much as I was enamored with martial culture, philosophy and principles. And when I met Jason Hawkins, I truly began my martial arts journey, leaving TKD and beginning Ju-Jutsu, Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Muay Thai, Silat, Judo, Aikido and Tai Chi. I trained every day, shifting the emphasis periodically, but having a truly immersive experience. We traveled to seminars, camps and training facilities that we could find. No YouTube. No online courses. Very few video or written resources for several years.
It was around this time that the first Ultimate Fighting Championship took place and the martial arts world was dramatically introduced to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Because my teacher had a Ju-Jutsu background and I was almost to my black belt in that art by then as well, we recognized the importance for us to learn about Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. We began attending seminars, class and camps when we could find them, following Royce Gracie around the nation, and eventually becoming an association of the Gracie Academy.
Fast forward to today, I am still with Professor Jason Hawkins, we are both 2nd degree black belts in Jiu-Jitsu under Royce Gracie, I still train in other arts but not to the degree I do Jiu-Jitsu. I teach group classes and private lessons daily, as well as travel frequently for seminars and filming of video resources for DVDs and online with my YouTube channel, KnightJiuJitsu. It’s an amazing way to earn a living.
I still have the scars of my past and some others I picked up along the way. I’ve also had a lot of joy, too. Training in martial arts hasn’t cured me of any of the pain of the past, but it has helped me to achieve more emotional balance. I understand how to handle and understand so many aspects of life that I’m certain I couldn’t understand without the metaphorical lens that training has provided me with. I’m grateful for every opportunity, every lesson and every adversity I’ve experienced along the way.
Featured Budo Brother
Martial Arts has not only saved my life, but shaped it as well. As many young kids have done from the 90s, I grew up watching Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Van Damme movies. How could you not want to do martial arts? I got started doing an American style of kickboxing but do to my hometown being so far away from quality training, I didn't stick with it to much. I bounced around from discipline to discipline. Everything from karate to Phillipino kali. It wasn't until my uncle came from Washington DC to live with my mom and me that I found grappling. He taught me some basic submission grasping techniques when I was young until we both found judo at the same time.
That's where the obsession really took over. The local college had a judo club ran by my judo coach Randall Rhodes. I fell in love with the competition aspect. Competed in judo at a national level until I was 20(even went undefeated as a amateur MMA fighter in that time). When I was 24, my coach Brian Imholz opened up the first jiu-jitsu academy in my city. Again grappling took my life over. Fast forward a few years later, I am currently the assistant instructor at Gracie Humaita Southeast Missouri. I get to teach and share my passion of Gracie jiu-jitsu and judo. I owe all the opportunities I've ever had in life to judo and jiu-jitsu. Without these wonderful arts, I'd still working at some job I didn't enjoy.
Featured Budo Brother
I can remember seeing a copy of black belt magazine as a small boy with a ninja on the cover, and begging my dad to buy me a copy of it. He relented, and I read it till it literally fell apart. A fascination bloomed, and it lasted, undiminished for nearly thirty years.
I started in the martial arts at the age of 6 with Tae Kwon Do under Robert Summers in North Carolina. I can remember putting on a Century Gi and for the first time in my life I felt like a part of something greater. Even as a young man no one style seemed to have all that I wanted. I was enthusiastic about anything I could train in, and loved all the martial arts I came across, and got to explore. The Korean martial arts progressed in to boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, kendo, iaido, krav maga, wing chun, and anything I could find. I wanted to spar all the time, to test things, to understand them. The greatest moments of my life were spent covered in sweat, laughing around a mouth guard.
I joined the Army Infantry in 2000, and was posted to the famed 101st Airborne Division. I would later deploy in first wave to the invasion Afghanistan in 2002, the invasion of Iraq 2003, and Iraq again in 2005. I served with some of the finest men America has to offer and count myself lucky to have shared their company. Returning home is hard, and like most veterans I found myself without a place in society. Confused and angry I started down a darker path until one day I passed a martial arts school and remembered my old child hood passion. I set down the bottle, and picked up the gloves again. I found the camaraderie I had been missing, and nothing had changed, same high fives, same laughter, new mouth guard. The martial arts saved my life.
I understand that “what works and what doesn’t” is a hot debate in the martial arts world, and its true that some things work better than others in a fight. The true benefit of martial study is that the practice of them can save you…from yourself. It can provide, strength, discipline, focus, values, lifelong friends, and laughter. It’s a purpose, a path, a way of life, and Ive never regretted a minute of it. So, in closing, regardless of style, go to class, work hard, love the martial journey you are on, SPAR!, make friends, and live the adventure! Let me know how it turns out!
OH!...and if you’re a dad out there? Buy your kid that magazine. You never know where it will take them…
Budo Youth Fund
WE MADE IT!
WE ARE HERE!
OUR GOAL HAS BEEN REACHED…
…AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!
To start, we would like to express our gratitude to EVERYONE who has supported the BUDO BROTHERS brand. By doing so, you are helping us change the young lives of the next generation by blessing us with the ability to support the Budo Youth Fund.
If you are reading this eMagazine, then you know the true power of martial arts. You know how plugging in the principles and virtues of martial arts can lead to a better life <—This is EXACTLY why we started BUDO BROTHERS. We wanted to connect like minded martial artists together, celebrate ALL martial arts, share knowledge, make cool gear, and help the next generation get started. And there is no question that none of this would be possible if we did not have your support.
You played a part in helping us reach our goal of raising $10,000 to INVEST in the next generation through grant funding. We put a call out to the community to help us find the most deserving across North America, and every share, every like, every tag really helped us connect with some incredible families that we are THRILLED to support.
This process has brought about a HUGE feeling of gratitude knowing that we have the power to make a difference in families’ lives. We know that training can be expensive when you toss it in the list of monthly expenses. But financial challenges shouldn’t prevent kids from gleaning the life changing benefits of martial arts. We’ll take care of the financial aspects. We’ll also make sure these kids get to train with some incredible instructors that will bring out the best in them, and arm them with bulletproof confidence to take on life’s challenges.
We are so excited to name the successful grant applicants that have received a FULL YEAR of martial arts training provided by the registered non-profit, BUDO YOUTH FUND, and the full support of the schools these kids chose.
Time for some initial introductions.
Fellow Martial Artists, please meet:
Jaylynn, Makylah, Aleesah & Miguel
“We see Martial Arts impacting our children in many ways! Training makes them step out of their comfort zone and do things they never knew they were capable of! In a world full of distraction, the instructors at Texas Jeet Kune Do teach children focus, discipline and determination so they can bring their best self both on the mats and in the classroom."
“Ethan is 14 years old and has a twin brother. He comes from a single parent home. Raised by his mother Carmen, who is also a martial artist. A Taekwondo Black Belt to be exact. Out of his siblings, Ethan is the only one that has great interests in studying Martial Arts. Sifu Mychal knew Ethan had a big heart when Ethan was asked why does he keep his hair extra long? Ethan then replied he's growing it so he can donate it for cancer patients. Caring for others more than caring about yourself is one of the traits the JMA Academy teaches.”
Hi, my name is Stephanie Becerra. I am 10 yrs old and I live in Concord, CA. I wanted to go back to my Jujutsu class because I miss it there. I miss my teachers, my friends and all the stuff we did there, like kids night out, KidFest, Tai sabaki back and especially warrior camp. Warrior camp helped me face my fear of heights and it was my first time without my parents. My brother didn't go so it got me braver. My favorite animals are all, mostly bunnies. I have 2 bunnies, 3 birds and a turtle. My favorite sports are soccer and basketball. What Jujutsu is, is something in my life that I want to do and it's fun to do. Like, if something in life goes wrong and you face an attacker, what we do there helps you.
Colton, Noah, & Wyatt
“I believe martial arts training will provide my kids the opportunity to build skills they can use in all aspects of life.”
“Averi is a sixth grade student right here in the Budo Brothers hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Although Averi has always wanted to try martial arts, until now she has not had the opportunity to do so. Averi looks forward to forming friendships and learning some basic self defence. Averi also recognizes that martial arts has the potential to help her to improve her self-confidence and face some of her fears. Averi and her family are all incredibly grateful for the amazing opportunity the Budo Youth Fund has provided for us. This truly is a life changing gift. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
schools providing training
INCREDABLE ADAPTIVE MMA
When we started the Budo Youth Fund, our entire model was based around funding individuals instead of entire programs. But, when we met Heather & John Winklejohn, the firepower behind the IncredAble Adaptive MMA, we immediately amended our articles of operation to allow us to support the INCREDIBLE work these two are doing helping amazing athletes with disabilities grow through martial arts 🙏
These two run the program out of pocket as training is FREE for those lucky aspiring martial artists. The Jackson Wink Academy is a WORLD RENOWNED training center where pro athletes from all over the world converge to learn from the best coaches in the game! It is these same coaches that train the IncredAble MMA Athletes, so they are receiving the same life-changing lessons that bring out the best of them.
We decided to partner with Century Martial Arts and support the heck out of these amazing people! We sponsored the IncredAble Adaptive MMA program, and Century Martial Arts donated a TRUCK LOAD of brand new training gear for their athletes. Stay tuned for more on this story in upcoming eMagazine
To empower & provide youth & teens, who experience a variety of environmental, physical & cognitive challenges; the skills & benefits of Mixed Martial Arts.
Our Vision is to empower & provide youths & teens, who experience a variety of environmental, physical & cognitive challenges, the skills & benefits of Mixed Martial Arts.
-To create and provide opportunities in MMA for youths and teens with physical and environmental/at risk challenges.
-To help youths and teens who are often overlooked and underserved, realize their full potential in the sport of MMA.
Texas JKD has done so much in their local communities and they are thrilled to help give back even more by getting linked up with the Budo Youth fund. They offered to do more than just match our grant, they actually 4x’d it!! That’s right, fund one, and bring the brothers and sisters along for the ride! Super gracious, and speaks volumes of Clay & Beverly Pratka 🙏
The Texas JKD Program is fully immersive approach to training as their curriculum explores kickboxing, ground grappling, stand up grappling, trapping, tactical, Action Strength Fitness, and internal, mental and spiritual practices.
Journey’s Marital Arts
Journeys Martial Arts Academy was established in 2013. Lead by Sifu Mychal Clark In San Pedro California. Besides their martial arts program, they offer other services to the community. The JMA Academy has taught free seminars to people of all ages such as the YWCA by empowering and educating young woman about awareness, public safety and self-defense. Journeys has been known for teaching self defense to individuals with Autism.
Sifu Mychal has also held events such as, amateur mma, grappling, and kickboxing tournaments. In addition, the JMA Academy has also lead children summer camps, toy drives, and school supply drives. Sifu Mychal and his Academy will continue to lead and inspire people through the world of martial arts.
TAO OF PEACE
THE TRUE ESSENCE OF MARTIAL ARTS IS TO PROMOTE PERSONAL GROWTH, INNER PEACE, AND HARMONY.
Through training we develop greater self-awareness, ego tendencies become clearer, and we are more capable to view others as an extension of ourselves. Unity and Oneness become great allies in defeating our ego identity.
CCB Martial Arts
CCB Martial Arts provides martial arts training in Concord, Ca. We are focused on helping you build a higher level of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-defense. Our goal at CCB Martial Arts is to create and deliver tools that empower you to achieve your full potential by breaking through self-limiting beliefs.
BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!
Stay tuned for some amazing stories of transformation over the next year 🙏