Jiu-jitsu is often promoted as a form of self-defense, and now, one BJJ coach in Fortaleza, Brazil is teaching this valuable skill to a group of people who need it the most.
Jiu-jitsu brown belt Milton Leite has teamed up with Casa Transformar, a host house for the LGBTQ+ community, to teach free BJJ classes. According to the Brazilian LGBTQ+ website gay-blog.com, Leite and four other volunteers are providing free classes to transgender students at the Casa, combining self-defense with the human connection we’ve experienced firsthand through the martial art.
Both the self-defense and social aspects of jiu-jitsu are of particular use to the trans community. Multiple studies and surveys have shown that trans people experience disproportionately high rates of harassment, threats, discrimination, and violence — factors that also contribute to disproportionately high suicide and attempted suicide rates among the trans population.
Leite says that he plans on staying with the program until one of his students at the Casa becomes ready to take his place and pass on the knowledge they’ve learned to the other students.
The new BJJ students are relying on gis that have been donated to the program. Monetary donations can be made here, and Casa Transformar has told the Jiu-Jitsu Times that anyone who wishes to donate gis to the program can do so via this address:
- Rua José Maurício 527/ Siqueira
- Próximo ao atacadao da Osório de Paiva
- Fortaleza, Ceará
- CEP : 60736-140