Gi’s 4 GI’s: Using Jiu Jitsu to Improve Lives for our returning Servicemen and Women
Anyone who is involved in the jiu jitsu community knows the “power” of jiu jitsu. It is more than just an amazing workout where you learn cool techniques and roll around with your teammates. Yes, that is what we do on the mats, but what we gain from jiu jitsu and martial arts in general is much deeper. We gain a sense of community, friendship and camaraderie. As a youth instructor I often say, that I teach confidence through jiu jitsu to kids. The same thing is true for adults. Jiu jitsu provides an outlet for people to learn about themselves, learn about others and, of course, learn jiu jitsu.
In 2015 Brian Crandell, went a step farther, and realized that jiu jitsu not only has the power to change lives, it also has the potential to save lives. In 2015 Brian Crandell began Gi’s 4 GI’s. According to the Gi’s 4 GI’s mission statement, their objective is to help active duty military members, veterans, and first responders cope with the stress of their jobs. Gi’s for GI’s collects new or gently used gis and distributes them to servicemen and women to begin or continue their jiu jitsu journey. The goal is that these service members who receive gis will use jiu jitsu as a form of therapy to help them cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, depression, anxiety, and a host of other ailments that have led to an ever increasing number of veteran suicides.
These men and women have served our country, now we have the opportunity to do something for them. The number one mission of this organization is to give uniforms to GI’s. So, if you have a gi that no longer fits or you simply don’t wear, please bring it into Hart BJJ, Boxing and MMA in Conshohocken. If you do not have a gi to donate, that is ok, there are other ways to help. You can go to the Gi’s 4 GI’s website, http://www.gis-4-gis.com, and donate. There is also merchandise for purchase. They sell patches, t-shirts and window decals. Any contribution is greatly appreciated. You can also follow this awesome organization on Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Gis4GIsFoundation.
You all know the camaraderie we feel as a team here, help these active servicemen and women who are returning from duty and missing that feeling. Help us to give them a chance to become a part of this amazing jiu jitsu culture that we have all come to love. Your monetary donation or donation of a gi will go a long way. So go through your drawers, clean out your closet, and find your old gis. That old gi will change a life.