Since 2015, one of the ways Disciple Dojo has ministered to the Charlotte community is through a partnership with Project 658 to offer a free weekly Jiujitsu & self-defense class for kids from Charlotte’s refugee, immigrant, and lower-income communities.
We call it RefugeeJitsu.
(It's a play on jiu-jitsu. Get it?)
We decided to offer an initial basic self-defense seminar for their kids and see what interest it might generate. It was a big hit! We had students from Afghanistan, Congo, Ivory Coast, and Southeast Asia in attendance. Despite not knowing each other and coming from different countries and different cultures, all of them had a great time and their smiles were so infectious!
Since then we’ve offered a weekly class which meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30-8:00 PM at Project 658, which consists of around 30 students on a regular basis, ages 7 to 19! More than simply teaching these kids and families how to protect and defend themselves from physical harm, we seek to build GENUINE friendships among them and to be a bridge between their families and the wider Charlotte community. We also seek to provide the kids with confidence and an outlet for their stress, pressures, and anxieties they face as they grow up in a new country surrounded by people who often only see them as a burden or threat to their way of life. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is!
Lastly, we seek to honor the true Sensei, Jesus of Nazareth, who calls us to “go and do likewise” [Luke 10:37] when we see a need. To bring to Him our paltry loaves and fishes, and see Him do the miraculous with our meager offering. Teaching Jiujitsu to a handful of kids on a weekly basis may seem inconsequential in light of the worldwide problems we are confronted with each day in the news. But we believe small endeavors can have eternal ramifications, and touching even one family’s life with the love of God and a no-strings-attached relationship can change the world — or at the very least change that family’s world.
We have been incredibly blessed with the servant hearts of many volunteers who have helped lead these outstanding kids! But we can never get enough help. We invite anyone seeking to get involved to come help out with a class — no martial arts is experience necessary!
If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved as well! They can get a weekly self-defense lesson and make some awesome new friends in the process!
For more information on how you can get involved with this program — or if you already have an idea how you want to help — please click the button below and we'll be in touch.