Video games & Jiu-Jitsu: James Foster trains with Bungie employees at Destiny launch party

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James Foster (left) with Classy Grappler and student Tyy Withrow. Photo: Personal archive

James Foster (left) with Classy Grappler and student Tyy Withrow. Photo: Personal archive

One might have thought that video games and Jiu-Jitsu don’t mix well– that they would rival for one’s attention. But employees at Bungie, a video game developer, have found that Jiu-Jitsu can help them offset their time spent with working on video games.

On Sept. 8 James Foster of GMA Foster BJJ in Seattle, WA was invited to share his love of Jiu-Jitsu at the release party for the company’s newest product, Destiny.

We wondered about how this shared love of Jiu-Jitsu began at such a company and how the open mat was included at the party so we asked James:

GRACIEMAG: Can you describe the relationship between Bungie and Jiu-Jitsu?

JAMES FOSTER: Bungie provides many physical training options to help their employees escape the sedentary lifestyle of sitting in front of a computer countless hours a day. These activities include fencing, kickboxing, rock climbing on the in house rock wall, and Jiu-Jitsu among others. The president of the company, Harold Ryan, trained in grappling and pankration many years ago and is an avid mixed martial arts fan. The company hosts a different local BJJ black belt every couple of weeks to teach a class in their matted training room.

What event did you take part in and how did an open mat get scheduled?

4_GB72_StampSiteMyself and my good friend Classy Grappler (famous for his online feud with Kit Dale) were invited to the Destiny launch party by our friend Luis Villegas who is a blue belt and an Engineering Lead at Bungie. We both had taught a mini seminar there around this time last year while the game was reaching the end stages of its five year creation process. Classy flew all the way from Texas to attend and Luis wanted to make sure we all got an opportunity to train, so an open mat was scheduled for the employees to take a break from all the excitement of the day.

Were you able to spread the art to more people in the process?

After we completed the open mat we were walking through the building in our gis while they were doing tours for all of the Bungie/Destiny fans (there were thousands of people lined up outside, many who camped out the night before). One gentleman looked at both of us with his eyes wide and said “Whoa, they even roll here too, that’s awesome!?!?!”, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu truly is everywhere We also ran into some employees who didn’t know the company offered a BJJ program and were very excited to start training there!

During the party I met several individuals who either trained in the past or were looking to start training. It was awesome to celebrate the launch of the game with the creators and share our mutual love of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with others at the same time. They spent the past 5 years of their lives creating a truly one of a kind experience, I’m just honored to have shared a small part of that!


Follow more of James Foster Jiu-Jitsu journeys at

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