Jiu Jiu’s note: I found out that Elena Stowell (the gal I’m hugging on my front page!) is doing an amazing thing in our BJJ community. I asked her to share about her project.

One Way the BJJ Community is Making a Difference, by Elena Stowell, author of Flowing with the Go.

In December 2012 the Give the Gift of a Gi project began as way to reach out to the people of Brazil, especially the children, who trained jiu-jitsu but lacked the resources to fully participate. Many did not own gis and most could not afford to compete although they embraced the sport and fellowship it provided. The Carly Stowell Foundation, which helps kids participate in sports and music education, opened a new branch to support jiu-jitsu, Jammin’ BJJ, following a trip to Brazil by co-founder Elena Stowell. Give the Gift of a Gi, in six months, collected over 100 new and used gis for Brazil. They will be brought to Brazil in August 2013 and be distributed in three projetos is Rio, Canto Galo, Meier and Campo Grande. In additional, six young boys from Canto Galo (chosen by their coaches to have exceptional talent and admirable work ethic) will be “sponsored” to compete in the Festival Rio Kids BJJ tournament August 10-11.

Used with permission by Elena Stowell

Used with permission by Elena Stowell

This project itself is from very humble beginnings and is gaining support indicative of the sense of community that the global BJJ family represents. Here are some of the current and up and coming examples:

Kerstin Pakter and Hyperfly donated the Jammin’ BJJ logo patches that will be sewn on all of the gis. Hyperfly is also donating some gear for the young competitors. Thank you to all of the friends offering to help sew the patches on!

On September 14-15, Foster BJJ (Kent, WA) is hosting 3rd degree black belt Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana for a 2-day gi, and no-gi, seminar. All of the proceeds will be donated to Give the Gift of Gi. See bjjpowwow.com for registration information.

Giva Santana seminar

On October 26th, The Carly Stowell Foundation and Jammin’ BJJ will host a Kids Only Seminar with guest black belt Kris Shaw (Tinquinha BJJ / BJJ Legends Magazine) and local coaches. Three sessions available 4-6 yrs (1 hour), 7-11 yrs (2 hours), and 12-16 (3 hours). Proceeds to benefit the Give the Gift of a Gi program. Details available soon at www.carlystowellfoundation.org. There will also be a short presentation of the August 2013 trip to Brazil showing the impact the program is making.

Elena Stowell is open to suggestions for future endeavors, abroad and in The States. Programs only grow with ideas and action. You can find her on Facebook or at www.Elena-stowell.com

Care to make a donation? www.jamminbjj.org

Thank you for the continued support. “Do what you love.”


Jiu Jiu’s note: Is this something you helped support? I’d love to hear your own story connected with this project or those involved!