Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Orlando’s public schools

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I am Coach Márcio Pimentel, black belt of Judo and black belt of Jiu-jitsu, graduated and postgraduate in Physical Education, member of the Brazilian Training Academy of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.

In January 2018, I moved to Orlando, Florida (USA), to be part of a project that aims to implant martial arts in American public schools, with emphasis on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, initiated by Master Ricardo Libório in partnership with OCPS (Orange County Public School), and having Edgewater High School the first school to have this project, and with prospects of expanding to other schools and I am very happy and proud to be one of the first martial arts coach to be part of the project and can pass martial arts values as benefits to the children of Edgewater High School.

Professor Kyle Leisher is responsible for the school’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Club, which makes it possible for all students to have contact with martial arts and its benefits.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the main sport of this project, also teaching other martial arts such as judo, which has an educational and disciplinary character, Grappling, traditional in the United States and Self-Defense, important for raising self-esteem and confidence in children and adolescents, with a focus on anti-bullying, where a curriculum has been developed that is specially prepared to meet the demand of all students in the school and extending to the local community.

The goal of this project is to provide through the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club from Edgewater High School and other sporting clubs all the benefits martial arts can offer such as:

1- Discipline, respect and education through a set of rules of conduct that are taught and reinforced by the teacher or master

2- Helps in the formation of the character education

3- Increases flexibility, agility, balance, motor coordination and reflexes

4 – Strengthens and develops muscle groups

5- Promotes great stress relief and a great way to control anger, frustration and other bad feelings, such as a therapy

6- Teaches you to have more self-control and develops confidence and self-esteem.

During the school year we had a constant presence of students from the school, as well as from other Sports Clubs, such as, American Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Swimming among others.

Class for the football team.

These students have been involved in martial arts classes to find out what the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and other martial arts are taught and what it represents and what they add to them, and by encountering such values and benefits that can help them in their daily life or their sport end up giving continuity because they perceived an improvement in concentration, focus, self-esteem and confidence, as well as other values inserted in the martial arts and only seen and felt by those who practice.

After working for more than 20 years in Brazil with high level athletes, Jiu-Jitsu and MMA World Champions and Olympic and World Judo medalists, my main challenge in this project is to go beyond all the technical curricular part, is to pass my experience of Edgewater High School students, and Martial Arts values for them to develop as athletes or in their everyday lives, helping them become champions on and off the mat.

Class for the Lacrosse team.

Testimonial of Will Motzel, Lacrosse Team Captain and Senior Student 2019/2020

The Edgewater jiu jitsu club has changed my life in the way that it has given me a way to be around amazing people and an awesome martial art both have taught me critical life lessons from being humbled on the mats to learning how personal acts of kindness can affect the people around me and my personal attitude for everyday life.

Professor Pimentel has been there for my whole growth through jiu jitsu on the mats and off, helping me learn these important life lessons such as never giving up no matter what the obstacle and to keep working because the harder you work the better the outcome and always being there for me as a teacher and a friend.

Class for the football and wrestling team.

Testimonial of Charles, former student of Edgewater High School 

The Edgewater High School Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Club for the time I was there was the first thing to ever turn coming to school a positive experience for me. I received a whole new outlook on what I was doing with myself & how I interacted with those around me through the experiences I got to endure with the many minds that walked through.

Class for the Lacrosse team.

Professor Pimentel has provided me with a fresh new outlook on jiu-jitsu & culture as a whole. Not only learning from his over 3 decades of martial arts experience, but the experiences & stories he shared growing up in Brazil. His tutelage is something that’s made me a better person & jiu-jiteiro tenfold.

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